Queen not closing; New management company coming in May

WHYY Photo
Courtesy of the Light Up the Queen Foundation.

The Queen in downtown Wilmington will not be closing, contrary to a previous online report.

“There are news reports this morning which have been interpreted by some to indicate that the Queen Theatre in Wilmington is closing. That is incorrect. The current agreement with Hal Real’s company, World Café Live, to manage the Queen theatre will end in May, and a new management company will operate the Queen moving forward. The Queen is not closing. To the contrary, it will be better than ever!! More information will be forthcoming today,” city Communications Director John Rago stated in an email.

WDEL reported that ticketing giant LiveNation will operate the venue. LiveNation did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.


The Delaware Online website of the News Journal initially reported that World Café Live producer Hal Real made the announcement in an email. Real operates a restaurant at the venue, which features live music most nights of the year. World Cafe Live also posted a statement on its Facebook page. See story below:

World Cafe Live’s statement on The Queen

The story was quickly revised, with Chris Buccini of the Buccini/Pollin Group, developer of the venue, confirming that a new operator would be put in place. However, the web address (URL) reflects the initial headline. (delawareonline.com/story/news/local/2017/01/24/queen-wilmington-close-may/96981768/)

The theater previously made a request for modifications of its financial package with the state of Delaware of Delaware.

In that request, World Café Live cited growth in revenues, but noted that the previous economic downturn had taken its toll in the early going.

Still, the Queen has become a popular destination for events in the city and Delaware.

Real came to Delaware from Philadelphia, where he continues to operate a World Café Live.

That venture came out of live alternative music concerts sponsored by public radio station, WXPN.

However, the Queen never saw the same crossover of radio and music as the Philadelphia café.

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