From Our Editors
Before new shows came to Broadway, they debuted in Wilmington. The DuPont Theatre was constructed in 1913 as a stately venue for big musicals to find their legs outside the city, and to serve as a hub for more homegrown events. The massive stage hosted spectacles including a train-collision scene and live-animal performances, as well as performances by Fred Astaire, Bette Davis, and Orson Welles.
Over the years, the theater withstood building mishaps and the dwindling theater audiences of the '40s and '50s, when Hollywood began shrinking actors down to fit inside movie projectors. Rather than show films, DuPont stepped up its production schedules and catered to its diverse audience, slashing ticket prices for students and building an infrared sound system for hearing-impaired guests. It also renovated the space and added a children's series to introduce youngsters to science, history, and literature through theatre.
It all worked. Today, DuPont remains a destination for live entertainment, beckoning residents and visitors to shows that have included Cats, Les Miserables, and Hello, Dolly!