By Frances Weller | May 6, 2020 at 10:35 PM EDT – Updated May 6 at 10:57 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – One of the area’s most popular entertainment venues will remain closed until at least early summer.
The Wilson Center, like other entertainment arenas, such as movie theaters and concert venues are not allowed to open under Phase 1 of Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order.
If Phase 1, which begins Friday, moves forward without any setbacks, places like the Wilson Center will be allowed to open under Phase 2 but with limited seating.
Shane Fernando, Executive and Artistic Director at the Wilson Center says while the shows have been put on hold, he and his staff are preparing to open the doors in early summer with smaller performances and limited attendance.
“So if we can have a show and have 300 people, we would look at what type of artist would fit that kind of ticket scaling,” Fernando says.
The Wilson Center has a seating capacity of 1600. Many of the shows sell out such as the Diana Ross concert in February, one of the last big shows before the start of the pandemic.
Governor Cooper’s executive order allows venues to increase capacity four to six weeks after reopening during Phase 3.
Fernando says he hopes to be back to full capacity by fall.
“We anticipate this fall to kick off with our first broadway tour and that will be one of our first full scale events to happen,” he says. “We can’t announce it yet,” he says with a smile, “but we will in the next couple weeks once we get the approval from the tour.”
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