Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts is a restored 1858 "opera house", that has undergone a (1988-90) restoration to the theatre which also included an expansion to the historic wings of the building, the theatre and city hall, which added much-needed technical and administrative support areas. In its turn-of-the-century appearance, the theatre boasts beautiful architectural detail, including the ornate proscenium arch, sweeping balconies, original mahogany wooden benches in the gallery level, and a "thunder run", an original sound mechanism, the only one of its kind in the United States. The theatre is still a cultural center for Wilmington, with over 350 events planned annually in the facility. Over the past 140 years such notables as Maurice Barrymore, Lillian Russell, Buffalo Bill Cody and Oscar Wilde have appeared on the stage of Thalian Hall. And most recently such popular stars as Judy Collins, Ronnie Milsap and the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre have entertained modern Wilmington audiences.
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