Thalian Hall is now 150 years old, or young. Community members gathered to celebrate Thalian Hall's birthday on Sunday. 150 years of history was celebrated Sunday at Thalian Hall and executive director Tony Rivenbark said it has been some great history. “Lectures and presentations, political rallies. There was a memorial service for Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, the first Kaiser, and Woodrow Wilson.” Michael Jordan even received his key to the city outside of this historic building. Rivenbark said it was clear from the beginning there were big things in store for the building. “One thing is that this was a big city theater. This wasn't a small town kind of operation. This would have been equivalent to a medium size or even a large size theater in New York City in the 1850's.” While Thalian Hall has served as a home to the arts since it's opening, supporters said the true genius was in making the building a home for the government as well. ”So a very effective way for City Hall, the government, to talk with the people as well as provide them with a place for their cultural activities,” said a trustee of Thalian Hall. Members of the performing arts community said the ability to maintain government and cultural arts in the same building at Thalian Hall has helped the cultural arts thrive in Wilmington. Community members said Thalian Hall has been a part of their personal lives as well. Joseph Funderburg remembers the hall as part of his courting process. “Enjoying the theatre was one of the finer things a gentleman could do to bring a lady to the theatre.” While the building has withstood fires and renovations, it has managed to keep its truly historic feel. New renovations planned for June 2009 have people looking forward to what is still to come. The Thalian Hall Performing Arts group celebrated with a performance of Toby Tyler's Ten Weeks with the Circus. If you would like to see the show it's not too late. People can visit Thalian Hall to pick up tickets for one of their four performances next weekend.
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