“an informal, open-air performing area”
The Foellinger Theatre in Franke Park was constructed in 1949 as a gift to the community from Helene Foellinger in memory of her father, Oscar Foellinger, former publisher of the Fort Wayne News Sentinel. The Theatre was to provide a unique type of entertainment space - an informal, open-air community gathering and performing area, molded into a grassy hillside in the park. For many years, the Foellinger Theatre provided a large performance stage in Fort Wayne, while most of the central city movie houses (former Vaudeville theatres) fell victim to the growing acceptance of television. slide8A fire in the early 1970s provided an opportunity to make major improvements to the theatre and in 1976, the present open-sided dome and a new stage house were added through the generosity of the Foellinger Foundation. The theatre seats 2,386 fans. In 2013 nearly 50,000 people attended concerts, movies and other functions held at the Theatre.
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