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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Great Places Update: Invitation to Wieting Opera House Groundbreaking, April 30

As a very successful fundraising campaign nears the end, the time has come to start renovation on the historic Wieting Theatre and Opera House, which has been a part of the Toledo landscape for 99 years.  The Wieting Theatre Guild building committee is holding a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday morning, April 30, 10 a.m. to kick off the renovation.  All are invited.

Built in 1912, it was donated to the residents of Toledo by Ella Wieting in memory of her husband, Dr. Phillip Wieting.  Wieting initially practiced dentistry in Toledo and also had successful interests in the mercantile and abstract businesses. In 1878, with his father-in-law, N .H. Wilder, Dr. Wieting started the Toledo City Bank – forerunner of the present State Bank of Toledo.  When the curtains opened for the fist time on September 12, 1912, it was described as the latest in opera house construction, featuring a stage, orchestra pit, main floor, balcony, two boxes, dressing rooms, a ticket office, toilets and rest rooms.

Since 1960, the theatre has been maintained and operated by the Weiting Theatre Guild.  The $1.2 restoration project is to include new wiring, new sound and projection equipment, new seating and a modern restroom addition to the building.  The lobby will be restored to reclaim much of its original glamour.  The work will also provide for better lighting and stage equipment to accommodate live performances.

As a designated Iowa Great Places project, it received substantial grants from regional, state, and federal agencies.  Local residents have also been a cornerstone in fundraising with numerous fun ways to show their support, including team trivia nights, a Valentine dinner and dance, buying theatre seats (both new and old), pancake brunches, a quilt raffle, and gospel shows.  The fundraising committee would like to share in the glory of progress and restoration with the community at the groundbreaking ceremony.

The goal is to have restoration completed in time for a grand reopening on this National Treasure’s 100 year anniversary in 2012.

Saturday, April 30, 2011
10 a.m.
Wieting Theatre, 101 S. Church Street, Toledo, IA
Treats to follow


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