The Capitol Theatre has been a staple in the Wheeling area since Thanksgiving Day, 1928.
However, in 2006, the theatre was forced to shut down following 28 serious fire and safety violations.
“An inadequate fire escape would have fallen off the side of the wall had ten people got on at the same time,” said Frank O’Brien, Executive Director of the Wheeling-Ohio County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The closure of the Capitol Theatre was quickly felt throughout Wheeling, affecting local businesses and a decrease in tourists.
“Well, when you close one component of that destination, they don’t want to come back,” said O’Brien.
After securing a $1.9 million-dollar loan, The Wheeling CVB decided to buy, refurbish, and reopen the Capitol Theatre.
Capitol Theatre officially reopened in 2009 and ten years, the Wheeling CVB are now debt free!
“That was $22,555 every single month for the last ten years,” said O’Brien.
In celebration of this wonderful achievement, the Capitol Theatre will hold a mortgage burning Wednesday evening.
However, many questions remain, such as ‘how did they do it,’ or ‘who helped make it happen,’ and ‘who does it belong to now?’
7News reporter D.K. Wright will have more on this special report Wednesday evening on the 6:00 p.m. newscast.