Wheeling's Historic Capitol Theatre To Get New Seats - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Wheeling's Historic Capitol Theatre To Get New Seats

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The Capitol Theatre has gotten rave reviews since its re-opening four years ago.

People rave about the shows and the elegant atmosphere.

But they are a bit less enthusiastic about the seats.

Those seats have been there since 1946, and have been re-upholstered twice.

They are about to be replaced, with more comfortable and larger seats.

That means going from 2500 seats in the venue to 2200.

But they say it will be worth it.

"Not only will these seats be a little bit wider and certainly more comfortable than the seats they're going to replace, they're going to have cup holders and plaques that you can put your name on as a commemoration that you love the theater so much that your name is on one of the seats," said Frank O'Brien, executive director of the Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau.

People in wheelchairs will have available seating through the theater, not just in one section in the back.

They say the seats, carpeting and curtains will be the one upgrade to the theater that people can truly appreciate.

"There have been a lot of upgrades of the theater, but their fire stair towers and their alarms and sprinkler systems, those were things that are not so obvious," said Denny Magruder, executive director of the Greater Wheeling Sports and Entertainment Authority. "The new seats, the new carpet, those are things we can touch, we can feel, and these are going to intensely enhance the patron experience."

The $1.2 million project will take place this summer, after the Ron White show.

"First we've got to get some floor restoration and some new floor penetrations for electricity," Magruder said. "Then hopefully by early to mid July, we'll start the seat installation which will take six to seven weeks, and then we'll do our carpet, wrap it up and be back open for business around September 15."

And the old seats are still good enough to make a nice addition to another theater, or a theater lover's home.

"We have offered our good friends down at Moundsville at the Strand a chance to come up and take a look and see if they want some and there will be some eBay offerings," said Magruder. "I know there's a number of people over the years who may want a memento or two. And so we'll be offering some of those seats via eBay."

They've already raised $850,000 in donations, and they have some fund raising plans for the future.