Wheeling Theatre Needs Work

The historic Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling, W.Va., has reopened, but officials say they need to raise $3.3 million to finish restoring the 81-year-old theatre.

Frank O’Brien of the Wheeling-Ohio County Convention and Visitors Bureau said restoration and facility fees will be added to ticket prices to help raise the money.

The fees will depend on the price of tickets, with an extra 50 cents added to tickets costing $10 or less and $2.50 added to tickets costing more than $50, according to the Wheeling News-Register.

The most urgent improvements include $450,000 to construct a fire escape, as well as $270,000 for electrical, plumbing and HVAC upgrades, the paper said. Also needed are $400,000 for ballroom upgrades and $366,000 worth of sound, video and lighting upgrades.

Earlier this year, the WOCC borrowed about $1.5 million to get the theatre in condition to reopen. O’Brien says further upgrades won’t be made with borrowed money.

O’Brien told the paper that despite the need to raise millions, he is energized by the community support.

The free show the venue hosted Sept. 23 was the first since Live Nation closed it in 2007, citing 23 fire code issues.

The theatre hosted Tim O’Brien Sept. 25 and has The Lettermen on the books for March.