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The drive-in theatre has been demolished. The entrance for the Super Wal-Mart has been built where the Starlite Drive-In Theatre once stood.
Was this a movie theatre that specialize in showing films of interest like documentaries and educational features?
Rumor has it that the Varsity maybe turned into a performing arts center. That at least will bring back the thriving business that was located in Downtown Chapel Hill.
It is sad to see it close its doors as a popular Chapel Hill landmark.
Rumor has it that it will be converted into a performing arts center.
Was this part of the United Artists Theatres chain? I was reading this and the cinema had a UA logo.
“The Last Picture Show At The Varsity Theatre"
From the Independent Magazine Site: July 1, 2009.
“The Varsity Theatre leaves Franklin Street Dark"
From the Daily Tar Heel,Thursday July 2, 2009.
The Daily Tar Heel is the student newspaper for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“The Last Picture Show at the Varsity Theatre"
Independent Magazine from July 1, 2009.
“The Varsity Theatre leaves Franklin Street Dark"
The Daily Tar Heel Newspaper,Thursday,July 2, 2009.
Read Jonathan Pattishall’s report at this site:
I highly remember coming to this drive-in as a kid during the 1970’s….The drive-in was located between highways N.C. 200,and U.S. 601 and U.S. 74.
As of June 26, 2009,the Chelsea on Weaver Dairy Road at Timberlyne Shopping Center remains the only independently owned and operated movie house in Chapel Hill.
As of June 26, 2009,the Varsity Theatre on East Franklin Street in Downtown Chapel Hill has closed its doors forever,leaving the Downtown area without a movie house. The theatre has been rumored to be turned into a performing arts center. No word on that will be mentioned.
I remember also seeing Kevin Costner’s Oscar winning epic “Dances With Wolves” in the early 1990’s…..
The seating was horrible,but the movie drew large crowds with it played here. The auditorium looked like a classroom setting instead of movie theatre.
As of June 26, 2009……
The Varsity Theatre has closed its doors forever,marking the only movie theatre in Downtown Chapel Hill for more than 80 years.
The last two picture shows that played here were:
“The Hangover” and “The Brothers Bloom”.
See this website:
Features a section of Chapel Hill Road and also the construction of the Lakewood Shopping Center which opened its doors to the public in early 1963. Notice the main anchoring stores: Winn-Dixie(Grocery);
W.T. Grants(Department Store), Woolworth’s(Department Store), Kerr Discount Drugs(Pharmacy and Restaurant),
Also the construction of the Center Theatre from mid-1966 when it was just a single screen theatre. The cinema opened in December of that year.
“Urban renewal” during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s resulted in the destruction of the entire block where the cinema once stood. The Rialto closed its doors in 1969. The Criterion Theatre,located on Church Street closed its doors in 1974. The destruction of several buildings were demolished during the early to mid 1970’s between 1970 and 1976.
The Durham County Judicial Building open its doors to the public in 1978 where the Rialto Theatre once stood.
The main entrance to the Durham County Courthouse is facing Main Street(across from the old courthouse),while the backside entrance to the building is on Parrish Street right at the intersection of Church Street and South Roxboro Street.
The only operating moviehouse in town that serves the areas of Person County,Northern Durham County,Granville County and Southeastern Virginia.
The theatre does have a excellent bargain matinee policy which is fairly good.
The theatre opened in the early 1990’s as a twin cinema. A third auditorium was added later on in the late 1990’s.
Was this part of the General Cinema Theatres chain?
The Chelsea opened somewhere in 1991 or 1992 as a twin cinema in the Timberlyne Shopping Center. Somewhere later on a third screen was added. The theatre didn’t open in 1998. It is the only second arthouse theatre in Chapel Hill(besides the Varsity Theatre in Chapel Hill)
Wasn’t this theatre part of the Civil Rights Movement since the Alabama at the time was segregated at the time Birmingham was catching hell during the 1950’s and early 1960’s.
Photo of the Pleasant Valley Cinemas is on this site from 1992….
The photo contains the only General Cinema Theatre operating in the Triangle area(Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill)
Photos of other General Cinema Theatres in North Carolina which includes the Cross Creek Mall Cinemas and also Cross Pointe Cinemas in the Fayetteville and Fort Bragg area.
Other photos of General Cinema Theatres in North Carolina.
Photos of General Cinema Theatres operating in North Carolina.
Includes the marquee for the Charlottetown Mall Cinemas from either 1981 or 1982.
Other General Cinema Theatres located in North Carolina.
Excellent pictures of other General Cinema Theatres in North Carolina.