Looking at old photos and sketches of our theater, it’s hard to believe in three short months, our timeless theater will turn 90 years old.
For those who aren’t familiar with the history of the Weinberg Center for the Arts, we want to first share that we actually weren’t always known as the Weinberg.
Our theater opened on December 23, 1926 as the Tivoli, a silent movie palace that was a popular stop for nights out on the town. After closing in 1976 due to a devastating flood, it reopened a short two years later as the Weinberg Center for the Arts. For the past 38 seasons, the Weinberg has been an integral part of our local and regional art communities as a showcase for the performing arts.
In preparation for our 90 year celebration, we asked several members of our team what they’re most excited about in celebrating the jewel of Frederick’s big nine-oh.
John Healey | Executive Theater Manager
You know, I’m really just excited by the idea of 90 years of existence. That’s 90 years of our fabulous building being home to many first dates in Frederick! This place is tied to so many fond memories and I’m excited to celebrate how cross-generational our landmark theater is in that sense.
Rebecca O’Leary | Manager of Development
Frederick in general is such a special place – people feel a real connection to this city, and I wholeheartedly believe that the Weinberg is one of the big reasons why. People who live in Frederick know the Weinberg – or the Tivoli – as the place where they had their first dance recital, or saw a professional musician for the first time. Visitors to Frederick love experiencing our historic space – actually getting to be up close and personal with one of the remaining movie palaces in the country. Watching people who have fond memories of our space light up with memories and seeing first time visitors fall in love with it are some of the things I’m most looking forward to.
Jef Cliber | Box Office Manager
I get excited for our anniversary when I begin reflecting on how far we’ve come. The Tivoli really came towards the end of the silent film era—and yet, out of sheer skepticism towards the future success of silent movies, we insisted on building a whole stage. That mentality was a huge segway into our future as a performing arts center, in ways I’m not sure we could even foresee at the time! It just goes to show you how although change is inevitable, the history of your establishment is such an important part of its future.
Ashley Birdsell | Manager of Marketing
I can’t wait to engage with our members and audiences about their favorite Weinberg memories! It’s been fun collecting stories and artifacts as part of the #ShareYourWeinberg campaign – it’s so exciting to hear about someone’s first date at the Tivoli, or how their grandfather worked in the projection booth. From a marketing perspective, we know that audiences cherish the nostalgia they feel for the theater, and our venue’s landmark status. So, any chance to shine a light on our storied building and the memories made here is always exciting.
On December 23rd, join us when we unveil our revamped artifact exhibit and screen the same silent film that played on the Tivoli’s opening night. And don’t forget… you can be a part of the Weinberg story, too! Whether it be through sharing a story, sending over a personal photo, or offering an artifact for display, we invite you to #ShareYourWeinberg with us. We can’t wait to learn more about your history with our beloved venue!
Healey photo by Jamie Turner. Cliber photo by Alex Smith. O'Leary and Birdsell photos courtesy of Frederick News-Post.