Eagles Theatre

106 W. Market Street,
Wabash, IN 46992

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1940 photo copyright and courtesy of the Wabash Memories Facebook page. (XX)

Originally opened March 30, 1906, the Eagles Theatre was built as a vaudeville theatre. It was renamed Yarnell Theatre in the mid-1910’s, but returned to the Eagles Theatre name by 1918. In the late-1920’s it was remodeled by architect Alvin M. Strauss and had switched to movies by the 1930’s. Alvin M. Strauss carried out further remodeling in 1939, when it was redecorated in the Art Deco style.

The Eagles Theatre boasts one of the largest screens remaining in Indiana, has two balconies and a ballroom. It was closed for renovations & restoration in 2018.

The Eagles Theatre was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

asargent
asargent on July 23, 2004 at 9:49 am

I was recently given a guided tour of the Eagles. we were shown the second and third balconies, the projection room, and even the top-floor ballroom. Amazing design and architecture make the Eagles a beautiful treasure that should never be allowed to slip away.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 20, 2006 at 7:13 pm

Here is a link to an interesting article about this theater and a few others in Indiana:
http://tinyurl.com/hju7t

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 27, 2007 at 11:17 am

Here is another photo, circa 1920s:
http://tinyurl.com/342oq9

uptownjen
uptownjen on July 20, 2008 at 2:16 pm

i went to a movie at the eagles in the late 90’s, while i was attending college in a nearby town.

it’s a great little movie theatre that has somehow survived despite cineplexes in neighboring areas. it makes me happy to see that it is still in business.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 27, 2015 at 6:43 pm

1940 photo added, photo copyright and courtesy of the Wabash Memories Facebook page. (XX)

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 27, 2015 at 7:00 pm

There was also a Crest Theatre on Market Street, in addition to the Eagles and the Colonial. But I haven’t been able to find any other information on it, other than a 1955 photo on the Wabash Memories Facebook page. If anyone can find an address or build date, I’ll set up a CT page for it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 13, 2018 at 5:32 pm

Here is an early interior photo of the Eagles Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 3, 2018 at 12:24 pm

The NHP registration form for the Wabash Downtown Historic District says that the Eagles Theatre opened on March 30, 1906. The house was leased to the Dickson Brothers in 1913, and they bought the building in 1917, operating the theater through the 1940s. William and Percy Dickson also owned the Colonial, Orpheum, Family and Dreamland Theatres in Wabash, according to the December 15, 1917 issue of Motography. As of 1912 they had also owned a house on Wabash Street called the Princess Theatre.

For some time in the mid-1910s the Eagles was known as the Yarnelle Theatre, which is how it was listed in the 1914 Gus Hill Directory. The 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory double lists the house under both names. By 1918 the name had reverted to Eagles Theatre.

Papers of the Fort Wayne architectural firm Strauss Associates indicate that A. M. Strauss planned alterations for the Eagles Theatre twice, once in the late 1920s and again in 1939.

The Eagles Theatre is currently closed and undergoing major renovations. Among other changes, a second screen will be added to the house in a 40-seat auditorium to be carved from part of the basement. The main auditorium, recently seating only 450, will be expanded to 550 seats by reopening the balcony. The stage facilities will be upgraded to accommodate live events as well as movies. Upper floors of the building will have rooms for various purposes, including audio and video recording facilities and meeting rooms. The restored fourth floor ballroom, long derelict, will host events seating up to 200. Reconstruction began in late 2017, and is expected to take between 18 months and two years.

More details about the project here.

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