Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly

The Eagles Theatre in downtown Wabash, which was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, has been purchased by the Honeywell Foundation.

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. The foundation operates the nearby Honeywell Center.

The theater, at 106 W. Market St., originally was built in 1906 for live entertainment through the financial support of the Wabash Eagles Lodge. The building's owner, Troy Jarvis, approached the Honeywell Foundation last year about the foundation acquiring the theater.

The transfer of ownership was completed Dec. 29, according to a statement from the foundation.

"We will operate the theater and will absorb the existing staff," Tod Minnich, executive director of the Honeywell Foundation, said in an interview.

"We felt we have the staff expertise to operate the theater," he said.

"It is mutually beneficial. We were able to acquire this great property that fits well within our mission of providing social, cultural and recreational opportunities, and Troy was able to see the theater stay open in the community, and also receive the benefits of a charitable contribution as well," said Bruce Ingraham, president of the Honeywell Foundation, in the statement.

The Honeywell Foundation will establish a fund for upgrades to the theater. The upgrades, planned for this summer, will include new seating, repair of some original seats and interior painting. Work also will be done on the building's exterior through a facade grant from Wabash Marketplace, according to the statement.

"There is an interest among community members to help improve the theater to a better condition," Jarvis said in the statement. "The Honeywell Foundation is positioned to facilitate that involvement."

Minnich said it's possible the Honeywell Center could use the theater for additional programs and services. That, however, would be secondary to showing films.

"We wouldn't do anything that would interfere with our regular schedule of showing first-run movies," he said.

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