Carolina Theatre

226 N. Tryon Street,
Charlotte, NC 28202

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ncmark on August 17, 2007 at 5:56 pm

It’s been well over a year since the condo project at the Carolina was announced and nothing has happened yet. I’m afraid this project is not going to happen and the Carolina will be lost. The next door neighbor, The Mint Museum of Craft + Design in the old Montaldo’s department store, is vacating their space in 2009 and I predict both buildings will come down for some bigger project. That’s just my gut feeling but it wouldn’t surprise me for someone to assemble these two properties to create a footprint for some taller tower. The effort to save the Carolina has been too fractured over the years and hasn’t raised any money to speak of. I don’t think the restoration project has been taken seriously for some time. It’s a shame because a restored Carolina is just what Charlotte needs. I just don’t see enough local support to make this a reality though.

pmck8813 on February 10, 2007 at 4:03 am

On February 10, 1956 Elvis did four shows at Charlotte’s Carolina Theater on N. Tryon………2:30 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Later that year, on June 26,he returned to Charlotte and did an 8:30 p.m. show at the old Charlotte Coliseum on Independence Blvd.

Patsy on January 8, 2007 at 5:01 pm

“Work In Progress” is an interesting choice of words as
“Vacant/Not In Use” is certainly accurate.

Patsy on December 21, 2006 at 7:26 am

Thanks again as I’ve visited this historical site though don’t recall seeing the aerial view with storefronts and how that entire area looked with the still standing brick theatre behind though what is seen next to the street is gone except for the theatre facade that has been saved and numbered, to my understanding. Unfortunately, the marquee has been gone for a long time.

Patsy on December 21, 2006 at 7:06 am

Briarhopper: Best wishes in your efforts to write a book on Clarene Etters and Jane Bartlett. BTW, what were (or are) the WBT Briarhoppers?

Patsy on December 21, 2006 at 7:02 am

There seems to be alot of CT chatter about NC theatres, in general over the past few days so thought I’d check this link out, but nothing since Sept. 24th. If anyone knows anything in regards to the plans to restore this one, please post as locals aren’t telling me much!

briarhopper on September 24, 2006 at 1:16 pm

Can anybody lend information on Clarence Etters (former organ player at the theater) and/or Jane Bartlett (possible violinist at the theater)? Both were members of the first group of WBT Briarhoppers and we are writing a book on them. Heck, if you have info on Johnny McAllister, Thorpe Westerfield, Bill Davis, or others, let me know. You can email me at Thanks

BigElectra225 on September 4, 2006 at 3:34 pm

The film “The Story of Ruth” (1960) had its world premiere at the Carolina Theatre. That evening South Tryon Street was awash in klege lights and glamour as one of the films stars, Peggy Wood, made a personal appearence. Miss Wood is also known for her role as the “Mother Abbess” in “The Sound of Music”. Miss Wood made her entance that evening cruising down South Tryon Street perched on the back of a brand new 1960 Chevrolet Impala convertible (provided by City Chevrolet). Pics of the event are avaliable on micro-film at the main library. Not sure of the exact date.

tntim on August 8, 2006 at 4:24 am


The Carolina will not show up on the CT architect list until the editors change this page from “unknown” to R.E. Hall.

Vestal Press did a reprint of both volumes of “American Theatres of Today” several years ago. This is when I bought my copy. The Carolina Theatre is on pages 110 and 111 of volume 1.

I also noticed that Ken Roe also posted this information on this thread on Dec. 4, 2004. I also dug though my “Marquee” file and found Vol 18 #3, and yes there was the information on the Carolina Theatre just as Ken had posted. So the evidence is pretty conclusive that R.E. Hall did design the Carolina Theatre in Charlotte.

Patsy on August 4, 2006 at 5:56 pm

tntim: Are the drawings and pictures in “American Theatres of Today” of the Carolina Theatre? I found the book on a used book website and the price was around $200. It seems there was a Volume I and II.

Patsy on August 4, 2006 at 5:46 pm

I just went to the architect CT list and under R.E. Hall there is only one theatre listed under his name….Florida Theatre in Jacksonville FL. So there should be 2 theatres listed under his name now.

tntim on August 4, 2006 at 6:51 am

The Carolina Theatre was actually designed by R.E. Hall, not Graven and Mayger. The drawings and picture can be found in the book “American Theatres of Today”.

Patsy on August 2, 2006 at 5:14 pm

I’ve just been informed that the Carolina Theatre was designed by architects, Graven and Mayger, but it isn’t listed on the CT Graven and Mayger CT link.

Patsy on April 12, 2006 at 5:43 am

Mark in NC: Thanks for the update and please consider joining the CTPS group especially now!

ncmark on April 12, 2006 at 3:56 am

On Monday, April 10, 2006 the Charlotte City Council approved the contract to sell the Carolina Theatre to the Atlanta developer Camden Management Partners. They will buy the theater from the city for $1 million which is about $1.5 million below fair market value. Camden will get annual grants from the city and county for arts programs at the theater that will equal 90% of the local property taxes generated by the new condos to be develop in front of and above the theater. The grants could total up to $4.5 million which would help reopen the long shuttered theater.

Patsy on April 10, 2006 at 7:35 am

Onas: I really don’t know about the Carolina being haunted, but it is need of a complete restoration and if you are in the Charlotte area and are interested in helping CTPS with their restoration efforts, please contact them!

0nas on April 10, 2006 at 6:58 am

Thanks Kari and Patsy for the great info. I want to go take pictures of this theatre. I have a book in the works on haunted place like you mention.

Patsy on March 8, 2006 at 4:18 pm

Kari: You need to think about becoming an active member of CTPS since I see that the only theatre that is listed on your profile page is the CAROLINA! Come join us!

Patsy on March 8, 2006 at 3:50 pm

Well, it’s a month since I last posted here and thought it was time since CTPS (Carolina Theatre Preservation Society) had their annual meeting tonight. It was well attended and if you have interest in preserving an important part of Charlotte’s theatrical history, consider joining our group as there are several fundraisers being planned and among them is a function to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the theatre! For more information contact Charlie Clayton @ .com

Patsy on March 8, 2006 at 3:42 pm

Well, it’s been a month since I last posted on this site so thought it was time to let everyone know that tonight was the annual CTPS (Carolina Theatre Preservation Society) meeting. It was well attended and if you are interested in seeing the Carolina restored consider joining this group to preserve Charlotte’s theatrical history.

Patsy on February 8, 2006 at 4:42 am

Your ghostly post is most interesting though I’m still confused as to what theatre these entities ‘reside’….Carolina or Manor? If by chance, your recent post relates to the Manor, there is a Manor CT link where the old lady, the disgruntled musician and the former male employee can appear.

kkgrigg1983 on February 8, 2006 at 3:19 am

There are supposedly three entities in the building, an old lady, a disgruntled musician and a former male employee. The old lady has appeared several times to different people. She is said to be wearing period clothing from the late 20’s early 30’s.
The disgruntled musician hangs out around the orchestra pit and the stage. He was not very happy when the pit was closed up and he lost his job. Several crew members have reported creepy vibes and the general feeling of unwelcome when in this area. Some people have clamed to have been choked by unseen hands.
The former employee is said to be a white male in his 40s wearing a white oxford shirt and black pants. He frequents the projection room and the balcony. He also has been heard sweeping the hall behind the projection room and one individual even felt his shoes being swept over by an invisible broom. This entity is more personable and his presence is welcomed. He took great pride in working for the theatre.

Patsy on February 7, 2006 at 4:06 am

From time to time I read the Lake Norman Times and will try to contact Ms. Williams.

Patsy on February 7, 2006 at 4:04 am

What is mentioned in the book about the Carolina and any ghost(s)?

kkgrigg1983 on February 7, 2006 at 2:23 am

Both theaters are in the book.