By CBS3 Staff

WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — In Wilmington, a landmark theater announced widespread layoffs. The Grand Opera House is 149 years old but hasn’t put on a performance since March due to the pandemic.

Nineteen out of 33 staffers were laid off Tuesday. The rest took pay cuts.

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Times will still be tough when the theater reopens, so the executive director hopes the community will donate money now to help it survive.

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“These 1,200 seats get cut down to 350 and it’s just hard to do any show economically with only 350 tickets to sell,” Executive Director Mike Fields said.

In the meantime, the Grand Opera House helped start a new live event experience, the outdoor Concerts by Car series at Frawley Stadium.

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The first two sold out and a third is coming up on July 31.