A World Cafe Live is opening in Delaware!!!

For those of you who love World Cafe Live on Walnut St in Philly, you now have a 2nd location to see great shows!

The venue opens today! Official press release below

NEW STAGE IN THE LIFE OF WILMINGTON

WORLD CAFE LIVE TO DEBUT
IN HISTORIC QUEEN THEATER

WILMINGTON, DE – On Friday, April 1, one of the region’s premier live music venues, World Cafe Live (WCL), will debut a sister location, World Cafe Live at the Queen (500 Market Street, 302-994-1400) in downtown Wilmington, destined to become one of the nation’s best.  This trailblazing live music venue, full-service restaurant and private event space will be located in Wilmington’s historic Queen Theater, breathing new life into the former vaudeville theater and silver screen movie palace via extensive renovation and loving restoration of many of the extraordinary original architectural details.

“We’re thrilled to bring a diverse group of regional, emerging and established musicians to Wilmington,” says Real Entertainment Group founder Hal Real, who opened the first WCL in Philadelphia in 2004.  “Music has a distinctive power to transform the landscape of a city, and we hope it will bring a vibrant new energy to Lower Market Street.”

The sweeping space will be separated into distinct performance spaces:  Downstairs Live, a soaring hall that can accommodate as many as 400 seated audience members and up to 800 standing, complete with a bi-level balcony offering lofty views of the main stage as well as a dining and party space and four tiers of premium seating in the Queen’s original balcony;  Upstairs Live, an intimate, 150-seat venue and restaurant;  and The Olympia Room, a private event space named for an original tenant of the building, Olympia Gym, with space for up to 150 seated guests and 250 standing and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Market Street.  Each venue has been crafted to bring to the Queen the clear sightlines and pristine acoustics for which the original WCL in Philadelphia is famous.

In addition to near-constant musical programming, WCL at the Queen will serve lunch and dinner throughout the week and a musical brunch on select Sundays.  The various venues within the space will be available for private events of all kinds, from corporate conferences to weddings, fundraisers and birthday celebrations.  Audiovisual capabilities and a near-endless configuration of space, able to accommodate parties of all sizes, set WCL at the Queen apart as a perfect place for gatherings and celebrations.  For those who wish to combine their event with the talented artists performing at the venue, semi-private viewing areas and dinner-and-music combinations will be available.  Guests are encouraged to explore the space and find the vantage point that suits them best, whether it’s at the edge of the stage or perched on a barstool in one of the Balcony’s faux Lincoln boxes.

“The Queen is an extraordinary building with a fascinating history,” says Real.  “We’re delighted to present this performance and event space to a new generation of Wilmington residents, and we can’t wait to be a part of this lively new chapter in its history.”

On April 1, WCL at the Queen will feature a series of festive events to celebrate their Grand Opening:

10 a.m. Ribbon Cutting

12 noon “Free at Noon” Live Concert and Broadcast on WXPN

Throughout the Day Open House Tours of all of WCL at the Queen’s restored performance spaces

7 p.m. VIP Grand Opening Celebration exclusively for supporters of the Light Up the Queen Foundation, as well as those who contributed design, construction and funding of the massive restoration project.

Originally constructed as a five-story apartment building in the late 1800s, the Queen was largely destroyed by fire in 1910.  Following an extensive reconstruction, it reopened to the public as a vaudeville theater in 1917 and was converted to a silver-screen movie house in 1930, making it among the country’s first.  But attendance dwindled, and in 1959, Vincent Price’s House on Haunted Hill became the last movie shown at the Queen.  Nearly 50 vacant years passed before developers again became interested in the spectacular building, and no fewer than four tried their hand at reinvigorating the Queen over the past 10 years.

It wasn’t until Real Entertainment Group partnered with Wilmington-based Buccini/Pollin Group, the City of Wilmington, the Light Up the Queen Foundation, a Delaware non-profit corporation dedicated to the revival of the theater as a catalyst to engage the local community, and a host of public and private supporters, and raised a massive $25 million, that the property took on the promise it holds today as one of the region’s premier live music and performance venues.  Stunning original details, including the façade, main stage house, ornate ceiling medallion and a recently discovered mural with muses of Beauty, Painting and Sculpture, will make WCL at the Queen a desirable destination for touring acts and a thrilling venue for local performers alike.

“We believe this community deserves a world-class venue that’s been engineered from the ground up for the purpose of experiencing live music at its best,” says Real. “But you can’t just build it and hope they’ll come; you have to program it so the people who live here will see and hear those benefits for themselves.”

Through its non-profit organization, “LiveConnections.Org,” WCL at the Queen will host educational and community engagement programs including the acclaimed  “Bridge Sessions,” a series of interactive musical performances for schools, seniors and listeners with special needs, and Classical Connections, an effort to grow classical music audiences by presenting that music in non-traditional settings.

Named for (and inspired by) David Dye’s nationally syndicated World Cafe radio show on WXPN, the original World Cafe Live shares space with the station’s broadcast studios and has become a second home for artists and fans of their eclectic, wide-ranging musical programming.  The groundbreaking public/ private partnership between WCL and WXPN will continue at the Wilmington location. WCL at the Queen will house an on-site satellite studio for the station, where live broadcasts, recording sessions and member events will take place.

WCL at the Queen will serve food and drinks Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. until closing and Saturday and Sunday from 5 p.m. until closing.  The intimate Upstairs Live venue and restaurant will host daily performances by local and regional musicians, while Downstairs Live will be home to both established and emerging national touring artists.  For more information, or to make a reservation, please call 302-994-1400 or visit www.queen.worldcafelive.com.  You can also find them on facebook (WCLatTheQueen) or follow them on Twitter: @WCLatTheQueenc

Pic from www.delawareonline.com – Ryan Cormier