Capitol Overhaul

The shuttered Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling, W.Va., has been reborn as the Capitol Theatre under new ownership.

Previous owner Live Nation closed the historic venue following fire safety citations in 2007. The Wheeling-Ohio County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau purchased the theatre last fall, and following a more than $1 million renovation, it’s a few giant steps closer to primetime.

“All the life safety issues have been addressed,” city fire inspector Dave Palmer told the local Intelligencer. “They are fully compliant now.”

Safety upgrades at the venue include a $450,000 fire escape, new elevator, sprinkler system, smoke detectors and emergency lights. The theatre has also added new handicapped-accessible restrooms.

While nearly $400,000 of the funds for the revamp came from federal community block grants, Visitor’s Bureau Director Frank O’Brien told the paper the organization put up the rest of the money to modernize the Capitol.

But it could be a while before the Bureau secures the funds to bring the rest of the 82-year-old venue up to speed.

Future projects on the list including ballroom upgrades, digital sound, video, electrical and lighting work, roof repairs, new seats and restorations to historic paintings could amount to more than $3 million.

“Our next immediate step is to get the ballroom open,” O’Brien said.