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Embassy Theatre announces $2 million gift for building renovation fund drive

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 12:47 pm

The Goldstine Foundation has donated $2 million to the Embassy Theatre to help fund renovation of unused portions of the building, the theater announced Wednesday.

The donations will be put toward a $10 million campaign now under way to renovate four floors of the attached former Indiana Hotel and other undeveloped areas of the building, which was constructed in 1928, a news release said.

Plans call for creation of a two-story-high ballroom and rooftop garden, studio and rehearsal space, classrooms, a history center, and improved public access and concessions areas, the news release said.

The Embassy Theatre, a nonprofit organization, began fundraising for the capital fund drive last summer after receiving the Goldstine Foundation gift, the news release said.

The drive has raised nearly $3.7 million so far and hopes to raise at least $6 million by Dec. 31. If fundraising continues at the current pace, renovation could begin in June 2014.

The Embassy's board and staff have spent several years studying the best uses for the building, the news release said. That effort was sparked by the 2009 project that renovated the third floor to make it a public corridor between the Courtyard by Marriott hotel's sky bridge and the Grand Wayne Convention Center sky bridge.

“Due to our busy schedule and limited rental spaces, we currently turn away many public and private events," said Marla Peters, Embassy board of directors president, in the news release. "This plan allows us to stick to our successful business model and gives us more spaces for the community.”

The Goldstine Foundation was established by the late Robert Goldstine, who helped lead community efforts in the early 1970s to save the Embassy Theatre building from demolition, the news release said.

The effort raised $250,000, which was used to buy the building and create the current nonprofit organization to operate it, the news release said.

Goldstine served as Embassy board president for the first 20 years and also enjoyed playing the theater's historic Grande Page Theater Pipe Organ, the news release said.

The Goldstine Foundation has continued to support the theater annually with grants for maintenance and restoration work, the news release said.