Press release from Parks and Recreation:
The 60th Anniversary of Foellinger Theatre
More than $275,000 enhances Acoustics and “Curb Appeal”
Parks and Recreation Director Al Moll was joined by representatives from the Foellinger Foundation and Park staff as they celebrated Foellinger Theatre’s 60th Anniversary, as well as the completion of $1 million dollars of improvements to Foellinger Outdoor Theatre at Franke Park. With Theatre supporters and musicians also in attendance, Moll officially began the festivities by cranking up the music on the new state-of-the-art sound system.
“The City of Fort Wayne is fortunate to have this outstanding theatre venue, where diverse entertainment and family fun are provided for free, or at a low-cost,” said Moll. “And now we’re raising the level of entertainment to new heights. Not only are we bringing national acts like Three Dog Night to the Theatre, our new sound system will make their acoustics phenomenal.”
The current (2009) enhancements mark the completion of over $1million in improvements in the 2006-2009 timeframe. Of those improvements, over 50% were made possible from private grants provided by the Foellinger Foundation. All of the 2009 or $275,000 improvements were the direct result of Foellinger Foundation funding and include painting the front wall of the stage and the sound clouds, putting up new curtains, installing new lighting and adding an aluminum covering to the entrance Theatre arch and end caps.
The Foellinger Outdoor Theatre was built in 1949 with funds from Helene Foellinger to honor her father. It was open to the air and without a roof for many years, but was the site of fun theatrical and musical performances. In the early â€˜70s, it was damaged by fire and was rebuilt and sheltered in 1976 – again, thanks to Foellinger Foundation.
“This event helps highlight the Theatre’s 60th anniversary and our special gratitude to Foellinger Foundation,” said Moll. “I encourage the public to come out and sample the great new sound and look of our family-friendly entertainment here in Franke Park. Just like decorating a house, it’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint, new curtains and special lighting will do to accentuate the ambiance of a facility.”
Foellinger Theatre’s summer season includes low-cost and free performances from an assorted selection of local and national groups, as well as movies for the whole family to enjoy. Some upcoming events include:
June 17: Movie – “Mamma Mia,” the story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father told using hit songs by the popular ’70s group ABBA. FREE
June 18: Â The Old Crown Brass Band, an eclectic mix of classic, British brass band selection, marchees, show tunes and easy-listening. FREE
June 20: Â Revolution, A Beatles Tribute, this four man group of Beatles impersonators delivers a concert that takes the audience time traveling through the 60’s. $6
June 24: Â Movie: “Oliver,” a musical adaptation about an orphan who runs away from an orphanage and hooks up with a group of boys trained to be pickpockets. FREE
June 26: The Blue River Big Band, a unique mix of a healthy portion of time-tested swing favorites along with a sprinkling of newer music such as jazz, rock and Latin charts. FREE
June 27: Memories of the King: Brent Cooper, through his tribute to the “King,” Cooper brings back all the excitement, looks, sounds and electricity of a live Elvis concert. $4
For a complete list of performances and times, visit the Parks and Recreation website, or call them at 427-6000 or the Theatre at 427-6715.