November 10, 2017
The Ball State University and Muncie community celebrated the renovations of Emens Auditorium on Friday, Nov. 10, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The two-year project included a facelift to the external structure of the building, first-floor restrooms, a more spacious lobby, an indoor box office, a second-story hospitality room, two concession stands and 12,000 more square feet to the front of the space. This is the auditorium’s third and most extensive renovation since its opening in 1964.
“One of the most significant and enduring physical manifestations of our University’s partnership with Muncie is Emens Auditorium,” said Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns. “We have this beautiful space because of the generosity of the Muncie community. President Emens, for whom this auditorium is named, said that Ball State as an institution and all individual Ball State employees should ‘be good citizens because it is good business to be good citizens.’ This auditorium is one example of how Ball State and Muncie are truly better together.”
The renovations cost about $5 million; $1.5 million came from a successful community campaign spearheaded by Charles Sursa, and $3.5 million came from strategic use of university reserves.
“Throughout this auditorium’s history, we’ve done whatever was necessary to create an appealing place for both the artists and the audience.,” said Robert Myers, director of the auditorium. “A few years ago, as the 50th anniversary season approached, we decided to focus on our functional needs, including improved accessibility. All of this helps us provide the best service in entertainment and overall patron experience for the Muncie community and east central Indiana. The renovations make us even more proud of having this facility on campus.”
Emens Auditorium has provided 53 years of arts and entertainment to east central Indiana. These refurbishments will ensure that the community can continue to enjoy performances in a quality space for years to come.
Emens Auditorium seats about 3,300 and features an acoustic, scalloped ceiling and state-of-the-art sound capabilities. World-renowned artists, individuals and shows who have graced the Emens stage include David Letterman, Stevie Wonder, Louis Armstrong, magician David Copperfield, comedian Adam Sandler and the musicals “Cats” and “Les Miserables.”