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The Carolina Movie Theater

Come enjoy the rich atmosphere and ambiance of an earlier era, while taking in performances by top entertainers and cultural groups. Audiences savor the intimate setting of this majestic luxury theater, and hundreds of people visit each year just to go back in time, recapturing childhood memories and making new ones. The Carolina is as timeless as she is beautiful. You can learn more about the Carolina Theatre by scheduling a tour or reading about our long history in Greensboro, NC.

the carolina movie theater

In addition to concerts, movies, and stage shows, the Carolina Theatre is also a dramatic gathering place for meetings and conferences, weddings, receptions and private parties. Available spaces include the grand auditorium with the stage and lobby (both upstairs and down); banquet hall, Renaissance Room; and third-floor loft theatre space, The Crown. Host your next event at the Carolina Theatre!

New seating was added in 1941. In 1956, Elvis Presley performed on stage at the Carolina Theater to a packed house. Not long after, a wide rectangular screen was installed on the stage, putting an end to live performances. Although the Carolina Theater went through another renovation in the 1970s, but was unable to maintain a steady customer base and soon after permanently closed its doors. The theater space has sat abandoned for almost 50 years now. Preservationists, historians, and locals believe the theater could once again be restored and serve as an asset to the city.

Property records show that BF Spartanburg bought the building from Cypress Lending Group for $680,000. In 2018, the Montgomery Building underwent a $30 million renovation. However, the Carolina Theater was not part of the renovation. Many had hoped the theater would be renovated since it is the only historic movie theater remaining in Spartanburg. Instead, the developers donated the theater space to Preservation South Carolina, a nonprofit group. The group established the Spartanburg Preservation Fund as a revolving preservation fund to identify, purchase, stabilize, maintain, market, and/or sell historic properties in Spartanburg County. The fund is used to pay for easements on the Carolina Theater to protect its historical significance before it is turned over to a new owner.

I graduated SHS in 1959. Bob Talbot either owned or managed the Carolina Theater. He and his wife, Pearl were good friends of my mom and dad. Their son Bob Jr ended up with the Detroit newspaper as a local happenings commentator. Bob gave dad tickets to a lot of movies which we enjoyed and appreciated.Great memories!

The Carolina Theatre in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a historic movie house currently undergoing restoration to become a performing arts center and civic convening space. The theatre is owned by the nonprofit Foundation For The Carolinas.

In March 2017, it was announced that, as part of the theatre's restoration, a 257-room InterContinental[10] hotel would be built atop the structure. The developer is Salter Brothers of Melbourne, Australia formerly SB&G Hotel Group and Valor Hospitality Partners will operate the hotel once it's open. The project is estimated to cost $100.[11][12] The project broke ground and the tower crane was installed in October 2019. The first 5 stories would be used by the theater with the remaining 27 stories to be used as a hotel over 180,000 square feet (17,000 m2) of space.[13][14]

Wilmington visitors who want to spend a rainy afternoon taking in the newest summer blockbuster can make a date with the Carmike 16 movie theater. Offering multiple screens, which includes 3D and jumbo screens, this...

The Durham Auditorium, designed by Milburn and Heister of Washington D.C., was constructed in 1926 as a replacement for the "New Academy of Music" which was destroyed to make way for the Washington Duke Hotel. As detailed in my post about the first Durham High School/City Hall, the Durham Auditorium was attached to that building, which was remodeled by Milburn and Heister to match the style of the newer buildling. (Courtesy Duke Archives)This shot, taken in the mid 1920s, shows the Durham Auditorium either during or immediately after construction. (It appears the site around the building hasn't been completed.) Many other interesting sights are visible in this shot -the large houses lining Morris St. north and south of the Imperial Tobacco building, the modest housing on Roney, the new Durham High and Carr Jr. High in the distance, and more. Carolina Theatre, under construction, 1926(Courtesy Duke RBMC - Chamber of Commerce Collection)The theater showed a mix of live performances and movies. This shot from 1930 shows the original marquee, which (although the resolution is too poor in this digitized version to see it) says the theater is showing "The Cuckoos". The sign to the left of the marquee says "Carolina Soda Shop." (Courtesy Duke Archives)The auditorium appears to have been called the Carolina Theatre from a fairly early point in its existence, perhaps to highlight the movie showings, which, over time, began to increasingly dominate the theater's programming.This shot from 1947 gives a closeup of the marquee. (Courtesy Durham County Library)Three shots from 1949 may be overkill, but I find them all fascinating, so why not. (Courtesy Durham County Library) (Courtesy Durham County Library) (Courtesy Durham County Library)

The Carolina was segregated; African-Americans were only allowed to sit in the balcony. I have read that this was sometimes referred to as "buzzards' roost" - a name evidently also given to the corner of McMannen and Pettirew Streets. During 1962, a rolling 'line protest' went on for months, as African-Americans would attempt to buy tickets to the whites-only section and, when refused, would return to the back of the line to try again. (Courtesy Durham County Library)I believe the theater was desegregated in 1963.

1967 (Louise Hall Collection, NC Collection, DCL)By the 1970s, the management of the theater shifted to the Carolina Cinema Corporation, a non-profit group that focused on showing foreign and independent films.Below, a shot taken from the CCB building by Ralph Rogers around 1986 shows the Carolina Theatre, Roney St. and the surrounding area just before it was drastically changed by the construction of the Omni, Convention Center, and the People's Security Insurance building on Morgan St. (Courtesy Durham County Library)

Below, looking south from the closed Roney St. in front of the theater, the convention center is being constructed., 1988. (Courtesy Durham County Library)By 1989, the plaza is essentially completed, and the Carolina Theatre was closed for renovation. (Courtesy Durham County Library)The theater was closed for a few years, as I remember, and I believe it reopened around 1992. A movie theater was constructed to the south of the original theater, which primarily hosts live performances (although the occasional popular independent film will be shown in the original theater.)It's very fortunate that the Carolina Theatre dodged the parking lot-bullet aimed its way in the 1960s. It is, in my opinion, the crown jewel of Durham's architectural heritage. I do feel that its energy is diminished by the configuration around it - the strange plaza, the Loop, the parking garage, the odd orientation of the hotel entrance, etc. It's configurations like these that make me distrustful each time Durham says they are going to build a new, grand project. The plaza and Carolina Theatre, looking south, 2006.

"The people that work here make this a great place to visit, watch movies, and eat way too much consession foods! At $7 per adult being the most you pay for two current movies, you cannot beat this place!"

Just about everyone that grew up here has a story about what movies they saw and when they saw them. My oldest sister Denise took me and my little brother Derek to see Star Wars when it came out in 1977. I was 11 years old and he was 4 and that movie turned him into a Star Wars fan for life. Other iconic movies I saw at the Carolina was Animal House and Caddy Shack. Animal House is the movie that inspired me to want to go to college.

Wilmington had a half-dozen or more drive-in theaters back in the day. There was the Carolina Drive-In on Carolina Beach Road near Monkey Junction, which opened in the late 1940s. There was The Parkview (sometimes spelled the Park-Vue) on Oleander Drive, near Floral Parkway and what is now Hanover Center.

I was talking with Wilmington bluesman Randy McQuay over the weekend about how live-streaming of local concerts is helping area musicians (and music lovers) make it through the COVID-19 crisis, and he brought up drive-in movie theaters as a possible model for doing concerts in the age of social distancing.

The Dowd Center Theatre is a multi-purpose performing arts facility built in the Art Moderne style. Its newly restored 560-seat theatre and multi-purpose event lobby are perfect for movies, meetings, business and civic gatherings, receptions, concerts, music and theatre performances, and weddings.

The drive-in movie theater is making a come back. Especially as the days of social distancing become the new normal, a new audience will be discovering the appeal of these pieces of Americana. With more than 200 theaters, North Carolina was once one of the top 10 states for drive-in theaters in the country. With just over 300 drive-in theaters remaining in the United States, North Carolina is fortunate to have several outdoor theaters we can all enjoy.

The experience has remained mostly unchanged, with some modernization. Drive-in movie theaters offer digital, current movies for a fraction of the price of regular movie theaters. And since they usually show two features in a row, the price of admission covers both movies, making it an affordable family and group activity. Here are the best drive-in movie theaters in NC.


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