In December of 2005, a large consortium of Wheeling non-profits and municipal organizations began meeting to consider undertaking the ownership and operation of the Capitol Theatre. This group recognized that the Capitol Theatre must once again be an important cultural venue and economic engine for the growth of our community. Since that time the financial and personnel resources of these organizations have been put to use in understanding the architectural and economic feasibility of re-opening the theatre under a local management entity.

On April 3rd 2009 the Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau purchased the theater. Phase I renovations will commence in May 2009 with September 2009 tentatively scheduled for re-opening of the theater for performances. Additional phased restoration will continue over the coming months and years, as funds are made available for the project.

The revitalization of the Capitol Theatre is a community-wide effort. The Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau will own the theatre. The Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation will oversee Phase I restoration. The Wheeling Auditorium Board, which oversees Wesbanco Arena and Heritage Port, will operate and program the revitalized Capitol Theatre, providing high-caliber entertainment for local and regional audiences.

Capitol Study

Management Strategy

The Capitol Theatre, Wesbanco Arena, and Wheeling Heritage Port are to be managed under the Wheeling Municipal Auditorium Board with the following advantages:

  • Existing organization with a proven track record
  • Knowledgeable staff with industry contacts
  • Centralized/coordinated facility management
  • Centralized/coordinated  facility promotions, publicity, special events
  • Centralized/coordinated sales and ticketing
  • Centralized/coordinated programming –care given that events at one venue do not compete with events scheduled for another
  • Same ushers, security, stagehands and volunteers used at all facilities

Programming Strategy

Projected: 62 events – 95,000 attendees

  • Wheeling Symphony Orchestra concerts
  • Regional dance school programs
  • Public/private school productions
  • Festival of Lights concerts –rentals and theater promoted
  • Up and coming country
  • Wheeling Jamboree
  • Christian/Gospel concerts
  • Doo-wop/Motown/oldies concerts
  • Jazz/blues/rock concerts
  • Broadway productions –rentals and theater promoted
  • Comedians
  • Youth theater/family shows
  • Theme/holiday specials
  • Lecture/Chautauqua series
  • Private functions –parties, dinners, receptions, socials
  • Movies: Film festivals, Cartoon Saturdays, Late night movies for teens

Why Capitol Theatre?

  • Space for Wheeling Symphony, other performing arts and film
  • Anchors and reinvigorates downtown
  • Provides sense of continuity and heritage
  • Prominent location and architecture reflects importance to community
  • Multiple additional uses
  • Job creation –during and after rehabilitation
  • Jobs for artists, managers, technicians
  • Patronage for restaurants, hotels, parking lots
  • Catalyst for investment in additional revitalization projects
  • Enhances and protects nearby investment projects