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Thalian Hall prepares for a makeover


One Wilmington landmark is about to take center stage. Overdue for repair, Thalian Hall is getting a buff and a wax.

“Any theatre, or historic performing arts center, has to be reinvested in. They are heavily utilized, and Thalian Hall is certainly and example of that,” said Thalian Hall Executive Director Tony Rivenbark.

The theatre has not been fixed up in 17 years. Theatre directors say with the low cost of construction materials right now, they are getting a great deal. “This is the best time to spend this kind of money,” said Rivenbark. “We’ll be getting a whole lot more for the dollar.”

The City of Wilmington is offering a contract to the lowest construction bidder for $2.1 million. The total costs of repairs are around three million, so Thalian Hall will have to make up for the difference.

The theatre will feature new improvements like a stage extension, and more comfortable seating. Not only will this encourage a larger variety of performers to take part in the theatre, but Rivenbark said it is an investment in the community.

“All of these aspects come together, to make a much better theatre, for the future, for audiences, and for performers,” he said.

The construction is estimated to take anywhere from eight to nine months, so from the end of the month, until curtain call in the spring, the theatre will be closed.

City Council will meet Tuesday night and likely approve a contractor for the job.

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Story summary

videoA historic venue in downtown Wilmington will be closed for about nine months, but all for a good reason. Thalian Hall is being renovated to preserve it’s antique style, and getting some new bells and whistles at the same time.

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