Waynedale Political Commentaries


I’m encouraged by the momentum and excitement we’re experiencing in the City of Fort Wayne. A great example is the progress at Quimby Village with the Clyde Theatre project.

I recently joined Even Keel Event Productions President Rick Kinney, members of the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority, City Council members, neighborhood residents and supporters to commemorate the start of renovation and expansion on the Clyde Theatre on Bluffton Road.

Kinney, who owns the Clyde, first envisioned restoration of the art deco building into a 2,200-capacity multi-functional performing arts center seven years ago when he found the building abandoned. Since that time, he has been working with local investors and government officials to make his dream a reality.

I commend Rick for his determination in making this project happen. Our commitment to urban and neighborhood revitalization is continuing with this unique renovation and expansion effort. Fort Wayne continues to be a leader in innovative projects. We’re confident the Clyde Theare will be a tremendous asset to the community and region.

The Clyde Theatre was built by Clyde Quimby and opened in 1951 as a 1,782 seat movie theatre and quickly became a hub of activity, drawing visitors from throughout the region. It closed in 1993 and has been vacant ever since. Kinney saw the building’s potential and purchased it in 2012.

Plans for the Clyde include a 2,200 capacity, general admission, multi-functional performing arts and special events center, unlike any other in the region. The theatre’s 10,400 square foot, two-story grand lobby will function as an art gallery focusing on sculpture, object, glass and functional art. The current project will include restoration work and the addition of a dressing room and performers’ lounge adjacent to the stage. The theatre will be the only one of its kind in the region and will draw performances that currently only hit markets such as Chicago, Indianapolis and Cleveland.

The total project investment is $5 million and construction is expected to be complete by the summer of 2018. Financing includes a City of Fort Wayne Legacy loan of $1 million, which will be repaid with tax increment financing, approved by the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission. A $1 million investment was recommended by the Northeast Indiana RDA, which was approved by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation through the Regional Cities Initiative fund. The renovation and project is also supported by private investors Chuck and Lisa Surack, as well as Even Keel Event Productions.

If you’ve traveled along West Jefferson Boulevard recently, you probably noticed several banners have been hung as part of the Blue Star Banner program. The initiative started in 2014 and recognizes City of Fort Wayne residents and City government employees who are actively deployed.

Family and friends of deployed military personnel are encouraged to complete an application at www.cityoffortwayne.org/bluestarbanner. Once the applications are reviewed, banners are made and displayed on light poles along West Jefferson Boulevard from the Time Corners area to Swinney Park. To date these are the service member’s names displayed: Gunnery Sergeant Christopher J. Anzalone, U.S. Marine Corps Major Scott M. Bailey, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Logan R. Blauvelt, U.S. Air Force, Staff Sergeant Charles W. Davis, U.S. Air Force Lance Corporal Nicholas Didion, U.S. Marine Corps, Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael D. Fisher, U.S. Navy Private First Class Aaron R. LaMaster and U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Cody Tyler. U.S. Air Force Banners are displayed through November and then removed during the winter months.

Individuals or companies interested in making a donation to the Blue Star Banner program may contact Karen Richards, Mayor’s Office, (260) 427-2146.

This is a tremendous opportunity to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our service members.
The men and women on active deployment sacrifice so much for our freedom that a program such as the Blue Star Banner is a great way to highlight the efforts of the real heroes in our City.

Tom Henry - Fort Wayne Mayor

A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer