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After months of renovation work, the Clyde Theater is finally getting ready to shine.

Big music shows are scheduled to visit the newly-revamped theater beginning in May, including some nationally-known acts that the building’s promoters hope will attract concert-goers from around Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

With roughly $7 million already spent on refurbishing the old edifice, chances are looking good that the Clyde not only will attract big-name musical acts, but provide a boost for the local economy, as well.

The very first show is scheduled for May 12, with that night’s performers being The Used with Red Sun Rising, and The Fever. Doors will open about 6 p.m.; the show is scheduled to start at 7 p.m., according to General Manager Rick Kinney.

The Clyde has a storied history in Fort Wayne.

Plans for the theater were drawn up by architect A.M. Strauss in 1949, and the theater actually opened on April 19, 1951 with 1,782 seats. Within months, it was bustling as one of the region’s premier movie houses, drawing patrons from all over Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio.

But years of neglect had left the theater run down after it closed in the 1980s. In fact, when Kinney bought the building in a 2012 tax sale, a majority of the interior had been stripped away by the previous owners, leaving not much more than a shell of the grand building’s former glory.

But today, renovations have proceeded at a good clip, thanks to a generous contribution from Chuck and Lisa Surack of Sweetwater Music Instruments and Pro Audio and a hefty grant from the City of Fort Wayne’s Legacy Fund. In all, more than $7.5 million has been invested in the refurbishment.

The new building will offer more than 21,000 square feet of floor space. The site’s main performance hall, which has seen all of its old seats removed, will offer a 2,150-person capacity, general admission, multi-functional concert hall and special events center.

The remodeling also has added a 7,000 square-foot dressing room and artist’s hospitality wing; a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system; backstage production loading docks; new box offices; new HVAC; new electrical and plumbing; new acoustical plaster; roof repairs; and new executive offices.

Scheduled upcoming shows at the Clyde include:
May 12 – The Used with Red Sun Rising; The Fever
May 16 – Stone Sour with The Bronx ’68
May 19 – Granger Smith
May 29 – An Evening with Ghost
June 5 – The Front Bottoms with An Horse
June 12 – Fitz and the Tantrums with Mikky Ekko
June 15 – Bad Fish, a tribute to Sublime
June 16 – Chase Rice
June 23 – Zoso: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience

Ticket prices range from $11 to about $40 for the shows, and can be purchased at www.clydetheatre.com, at the Wooden Nickel store on N. Clinton, or at Neat Neat Neat Records on S. Calhoun Street.

Kinney believes the new Clyde is poised to see a return to its former glory as a destination for music lovers and local tourists.

“It really will become a regional destination for live music,” Kinney said. “And it’ll be great for the local economy.

“Quimby Village was in complete disrepair,” Kinney continued, “And the Clyde will be the new anchor and center of future development of Quimby Village. And it’s really now a cornerstone for the Broadway corridor.”

Michael Morrissey
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Michael Morrissey

Michael is a professional writer and journalist. He attended South Side High School and Northwestern University. He has written for newspapers in Michigan City, Indiana; Pekin, Illinois; and Bradenton, Florida. He also has written for and edited websites in Florida and San Francisco, California. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer