DuPont Announces Sale of DuPont Theatre Business to The Grand
Agreement Provides a Greater Entertainment Experience for the Wilmington Community
WILMINGTON, Del., Jan. 12, 2015 – Today DuPont and The Grand Opera House announced the signing of an agreement for The Grand, a local live arts and entertainment leader, to purchase the DuPont Theatre business, its related assets and lease of the building. The transaction is expected to close on January 20, 2015. Terms of the agreement are confidential.
“The DuPont Theatre represents an important piece of the company’s history and a symbol of the thriving arts and entertainment community in Wilmington for over 100 years,” said DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman. “This agreement represents a strategic and mutually beneficial business decision for DuPont and The Grand, and we are confident it will continue the Theatre’s legacy and provide an even greater entertainment experience for the community.”
“We are thrilled by the opportunity to take over operation of this respected Wilmington arts institution,” said Skip Pennella, chairman of The Grand’s Board of Directors, “and we strongly believe that we can enhance its already impressive history for a new generation of audiences.”
DuPont will continue to manage the theatre until the transaction closes, after which, the theatre will be renamed The Playhouse on Rodney Square. The sale will have no impact on the remainder of the 2014-2015 Broadway Season, theatre subscription packages or ticket prices. Tickets for upcoming performances can still be purchased by calling the DuPont Theatre box office at 302-656-4401 or 800-338-0881. Information also is available at www.DupontTheatre.com. Once the transition is complete, The Grand will communicate directly to all subscribers and patrons.
The DuPont Theatre is the oldest continually operating legitimate theatre in the nation since it opened in 1913. Known as "Delaware's Broadway Experience," the theatre has provided years of professional Broadway shows, an acclaimed Children’s Series and many special events.
Built in 1871, The Grand Opera House has served as a touring theatre, vaudeville house, and movie palace before it was mostly shuttered in the late 1960s. A band of arts enthusiasts restored the theatre to its Victorian elegance in the 1970s, and since then The Grand has become the preeminent regional venue for music, comedy, and family programs, complementing the theatrical focus of the DuPont Theatre.
“The Playhouse on Rodney Square and The Grand Opera House – programmed, managed, and marketed together – will bring together the grand traditions of Broadway with the wide variety of musical and other artists featured at The Grand. We will truly be able to offer the best of both entertainment worlds,” said Mark Fields, executive director of The Grand.
Celebrated Delaware arts philanthropist Tatiana Copeland, who helped facilitate the discussions between DuPont and The Grand, also sees the promise of these two cultural institutions combined under one management. “I see greater strength for both The Grand and The Playhouse through this consolidation,” said Mrs. Copeland, “and I hope it serves as an inspiration for even greater partnership in the future, between arts groups and also with the private sector and all levels of government. Thriving arts create thriving cities. We should all want that for Wilmington.”
DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit http://www.dupont.com.
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