The curtain rises on the Gaslight Theater Entertainment Series in Sistersville on March 21.
A Sistersville businessman and a community developer from neighboring Paden City are collaborating to revive downtown Sistersville as a cultural tourist attraction.
Terry Wiley owns the historic Gaslight Theater at 719 Wells St. in Sistersville in addition to other businesses, including Farmers Harvest where tickets for the performances will be sold. Helping Wiley with the entertainment series is Jim Bowen, Paden City resident and community developer.
For the first two shows in the series the pair has booked Pittsburgh-area entertainers.
At 8 p.m. March 21, Nick Fiasco will sing selections from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin and others from the era. Tickets are $15. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Donna Bailey, a vocalist, recording artist and songwriter performs at 8 p.m. May 10 (rescheduled from May 3), days after she is inducted into the Pittsburgh Area Jazz Hall of Fame. She'll be accompanied by her three-piece band. Tickets are $20. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Both shows will have a short intermission between two sets of music.
Tickets can be purchased from any Sistersville Lions Club member. Tickets are also available for purchase at Witchey's Grocery in New Martinsville and Middlebourne; at WesBanco in Paden City; and at Wiley's store, Farmers Harvest, 315 Charles St., Sistersville.
Proceeds benefit two local nonprofit organizations: The Sistersville General Hospital Foundation and The Paden City Foundation.
"The Sistersville General Hospital Foundation supports major investments and equipment upgrades," Bowen said. "The Paden City Foundation provides scholarships for Paden City High School students, upkeep and improvements to the Paden City Museum & Cultural Center and other endeavors to enhance the life of Paden City citizens."
The events are more than just concerts.
"We plan on having a Chinese Auction, finger foods and beverages prior to and at intermission," Bowen said. "The Chinese Auction will consist of six baskets provided by the nonprofits for additional income."
Organizers are hoping concert goers will make a weekend of it.
"We are working with the Wells Inn to provide a special weekend package of lodging, meals and tickets to either performance," Bowen said.
The Wells Inn is a restored hotel built about the same time as the theater building. Sistersville's heyday was fueled by an oil boom in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Victorian architecture in some of the town's buildings is a reminder of that prosperous time.
"The Gaslight used to be called The Paramount," Wiley said. "Built in 1898, it was a large theater. You could see a movie for 5 cents then."
Originally seating 400 people on the first floor and in the balcony, The Gaslight now accommodates 200 spectators.
"People who come to see it can't believe this is here," he said. "Performers are amazed by the sound quality. Those who have never seen the theater are simply amazed by it."
For tickets or more information, call 304-652-1707.
350 Quarrier Street
Charleston, WV 25301
Main (304) 343-1313
Fax (304) 343-6138