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The Scoop

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Grande Page Pipe Organ readies for restoration

The following statement was issued Thursday by the Embassy Theatre:

Fort Wayne, Ind. – When the Embassy Theatre opens Sunday, Sept. 7, for Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown, the sounds of the Grande Page pipe organ will fill the theater delighting visitors as they tour the historic facility.

But this Sunday will be the last time the Grande Page Pipe organ will be played for several months. The organ will soon be leaving the building for the first time in 26 years for organ console and electronic interface restoration.

“We’ve been looking at this restoration project for almost five years and, thanks to a Foelllinger Foundation grant, we now have the dollars needed,” said Embassy executive director Kelly Updike.

On Oct. 8, the Grande Page Pipe organ will be loaded onto a truck and shipped to Indianapolis where Carlton Smith Pipe Organ Restorations will repair and fine-tune some technical aspects of the instrument. The process is scheduled to take at least eight months at a cost of $68,000 which includes a $27,075 Limited Asset Improvement grant from the Foellinger Foundation.

The Grande Page pipe organ is the reason the Embassy Theatre was saved from being torn down in 1974 when a volunteer group of organ enthusiasts rallied the community to save the building.

During the regular season at the Embassy, the Grande Page pipe organ is played during Black & White silent movies, the annual Festival of Trees and every year at the Buddy Nolan Tribute concert, which spotlights Nolan, one of the organists who helped save the Embassy.

On Sept. 7, Cletus Goens will play the Grande Page pipe organ from noon until 4:30 p.m.

About the Embassy Theatre

Built in 1928, the historic Embassy Theatre features national productions from the Broadway stage, concerts of all musical formats, cinema, educational programming and a continued commitment to young people. For more information, visit www.fwembassytheatre.org.

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