Community,  Editorial

Weinberg Center: The Showcase for the Performing Arts

The Weinberg Center for the Arts, located in Frederick County, MD, is a showcase for the performing arts. It serves as a valuable leader in both the local and regional arts communities, offering a wide range of dramatic, music, and educational programs. By providing these diverse offerings, the Weinberg enhances the cultural life of Frederick and ensures that the arts remain accessible and affordable to a wide audience. With upcoming shows featuring renowned artists such as Tommy James and The Shondells, Toad The Wet Sprocket, and the World Ballet Series: CINDERELLA, the Weinberg Center promises to deliver an unforgettable experience for all who attend. The theater itself has a rich history, originally opening as the Tivoli Theater in 1926 and being restored to its former glory after being purchased by the Weinberg family in 1959. Today, the center is owned and operated by the City of Frederick, with the support of the Weinberg Center for the Arts Inc. – a nonprofit organization created in 1995.

Weinberg Center: The Showcase for the Performing Arts

Weinberg Center: The Showcase for the Performing Arts

Welcome to the Weinberg Center for the Arts! Situated in Frederick County, MD, this historic venue is a true showcase for the performing arts. With its wide range of dramatic, music, and educational programs, the Weinberg Center enhances Frederick’s cultural life and ensures that the arts are accessible and affordable to everyone.

Upcoming Shows at the Weinberg Center

Looking for some top-notch entertainment? The Weinberg Center has a fantastic lineup of upcoming shows that will leave you wanting more. From legendary musicians to world-class ballet performances, there’s something for everyone. Here are a few shows you won’t want to miss:

  • Tommy James and The Shondells: Get ready to sing along to hits like “Crimson and Clover” and “Hanky Panky” as this iconic band takes the stage.
  • Toad The Wet Sprocket: Enjoy an evening of melodic alternative rock with one of the most beloved bands of the ’90s.
  • Direct From Sweden: The Music of ABBA: Experience the magic of ABBA’s greatest hits performed by a talented Swedish tribute band.
  • John Hiatt: Prepare for an unforgettable night of soulful storytelling as this renowned singer-songwriter shares his heartfelt songs.
  • World Ballet Series: Cinderella: Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of ballet as a world-class company brings the classic tale of Cinderella to life.
  • BLIPPI: The Wonderful World Tour: Join the fun-loving children’s character BLIPPI on an interactive adventure filled with music, dancing, and lots of laughs.
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History of the Weinberg Center

The Weinberg Center has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to Christmas 1926. On that day, a sell-out crowd of over 1,500 people gathered at the Tivoli Theater, the predecessor to the Weinberg Center. The Tivoli was a plush movie palace built by the Stanley Crandall Company and offered an atmosphere of refined elegance.

One of the most impressive features of the Tivoli was its magnificent Wurlitzer organ, installed in 1926 at a cost of $18,500. This organ continues to entertain audiences today during silent movies and sing-alongs, making it the only Wurlitzer in Maryland still in its original installation.

The Tivoli became Frederick’s first air-conditioned public building in 1939, thanks to the influence of a racehorse named Challedon. Locally-bred Challedon’s owner, W.L. Brann, and Dr. Edward Thomas, a race fan and patron of the Tivoli, accompanied the horse to race in the 1940 Hollywood Gold Cup. Thomas persuaded Warner Brothers head Jack Warner to bet on Challedon instead of the favorite, and when Challedon won, Warner fulfilled Thomas’s request to install air-conditioning at the Tivoli.

Despite its early success, the Tivoli fell into disrepair in the 1950s. In 1959, Dan and Alyce Weinberg purchased the building for $150,000 and embarked on a restoration project to bring it back to its former glory.

Restoration and Renovation

The Weinberg Center faced tough times in the 1970s when downtown Frederick deteriorated, and modern movie theaters posed stiff competition. In 1976, the theater was hit by floodwaters, with the water peaking three feet above the stage level. Seats were submerged, and even the Wurlitzer organ floated onto the stage.

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However, the community rallied together to salvage the theater and its historic organ. After sixteen months of hard work, the theater reopened as the Weinberg Center for the Arts, named in honor of the Weinberg family, who generously gifted the theater to the City of Frederick.

In 2008, a successful capital campaign was launched to renovate the Weinberg Center and restore it to its former grandeur. The theater underwent extensive renovations and reopened in 2011, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy its beauty and history.

Weinberg Center: The Showcase for the Performing Arts

Famous Performances at the Weinberg Center

Over the years, the Weinberg Center has hosted numerous famous performers who have graced its stage. From renowned musicians to celebrated actors and comedians, the venue has become a sought-after destination for top-tier talent.

Some of the notable performers who have delighted audiences at the Weinberg Center include Marcel Marceau, Hal Holbrook, George Carlin, Judy Collins, Tammy Wynette, Garrison Keillor, the Temptations, Michael Moore, and Tom Jones. These performances have left an indelible mark on the theater’s legacy and continue to inspire audiences today.

Ownership and Operation

The Weinberg Center is currently owned and operated by the City of Frederick. However, the City receives support from the Weinberg Center for the Arts Inc., a nonprofit organization established in 1995. This collaboration ensures that the theater can fulfill its mission of providing accessible and affordable arts experiences to the community.

Community Support and Nonprofit Organization

The Weinberg Center owes much of its success to the support of the local community. Since its reopening in 1978, the theater has become a beloved institution, drawing visitors from near and far. The community’s dedication to preserving and promoting the arts has played a vital role in the theater’s continued operation.

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The Weinberg Center for the Arts Inc., the nonprofit organization that supports the theater, plays an essential role in fundraising, programming, and community engagement. Through partnerships with local businesses and individuals, the organization ensures that the Weinberg Center remains an integral part of Frederick’s vibrant arts scene.

Explore the Outdoors

While visiting the Weinberg Center, take the opportunity to explore the beautiful outdoors of Frederick County. The region offers endless opportunities to unplug and enjoy nature. From scenic hiking trails to picturesque parks and gardens, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Drink Local

After a day of exploring and indulging in the arts, why not treat yourself to some local libations? Frederick County is home to a vibrant craft beverage scene, with wineries, breweries, cideries, meaderies, and distilleries waiting to be discovered. Sip and sample locally produced wines, ciders, meads, brews, and spirits, and experience the unique flavors of the region.

Whether you’re a fan of the performing arts, a history enthusiast, or an outdoor adventurer, the Weinberg Center in Frederick County, MD, offers a delightful experience for all. From its fascinating history and beautiful restoration to its impressive lineup of shows and the support of the local community, the Weinberg Center is a true gem that continues to enrich the cultural landscape of the region. So grab your tickets, sit back, and prepare to be captivated by the magic of the performing arts!