CHAPEL HILL, NC — The Daily Tar Heel discusses the strategies of the second-run Chelsea and Varsity theatres. They keep prices down by waiting for titles and providing a less glitzy atmosphere.
(Thanks to wsasser for providing the photo.)
At one time,the Varsity and the Chelsea along with the Carolina were the only movie houses in Chapel Hill that screened a showcase of independent,foreign and first-run films.
The Carolina Theater,once a staple of Downtown Chapel Hill closed it’s doors in 2005.
The Varsity Theater became a second-run discount house in 2009 after it change management. It also will run special features and some vintage Hollywood classic movies. At one time was an glitzy art house cinema.
The Chelsea located on the Northern end of the city at Timberlyne Center,opened it’s doors in 1990 as a twin cinema,and later on expanded to a triple screen operation.The Chelsea is the ONLY movie theater in all of Chapel Hill that shows art-house films and independent features,not to mention first-run features that is a great alternative to the megaplex Regal Timberlyne 6 which is across the street from Timberlyne Shopping off Banks Drive and Weaver Dairy Road.
The Village Plaza located off East Franklin Street at Elliott Road opened in 1970 as a twin cinema,and was a three screen cinema in 1973,and later on in the 1990’s expanded to five screens until it’s closing in 2003. Was demolished in 2006. The lot where the cinema once stood is now a public park.
The Varsity was twinned in 1983 when it was under Janus Theatres. Before that The Varsity was basically a single screen operation from 1952 until 1983,under H.B. Meiselman Theatres/Eastern Federal Corporation.
From 1983 until 2009,The Varsity Twin(aka The Varsity 1 & 2) showcase all of the independent/foreign,and first-run features until it changed hands in 2009,and became a second-run discount cinema.