Conference venue

Nighttime view of Maryland Theatre

Maryland Theatre on the evening of the ribbon cutting for its expansion, October 11, 2019.

Maryland Theatre
Performing Arts Complex

Maryland Theatre cut the ribbon on its expanded Performing Arts Complex in October 2019. The heart of the complex is the 1,300-seat historic auditorium.

The World Canals Conference will take advantage of the new 300-seat ballroom space, 150-seat rehearsal studio,  mezzanine-level concession area and orchestra-level lobby.

Maryland Theatre opened its doors in 1915. The theater began life as a vaudeville house but when sound came to the movies commercially in 1927, the theater received new seating and became primarily a movie theatre. It closed in 1973.

In 1974 fire destroyed the front of the theater where the expanded facilities are now located, but left the historic auditorium virtually untouched. The theater fell into disrepair until 1976, when a local funeral director, Gerald N. Minnich purchased the building only one and one half months before it was due to be sold to a contractor for its 1,000,000 bricks. The Theatre re-opened in 1978, thanks to a dedicated group of community members who gathered donations of supplies, services and monetary gifts.

Transformation of the theater into a performing arts complex began in 2018. The project involved demolishing the theater’s existing box office and constructing a four-story, 30,000-square-foot addition across the front of the theater. The projects was funded through a mix of  state, county, city and private resources.

Maryland Theatre construction side

IWI President David Edwards-May and C&O Canal Association President Bill Holdsworth visited the construction site for the expansion of the Maryland Theatre in June 2019.

August 30 – September 2, 2021
Hagerstown, Maryland USA