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For more about this theatre’s history please go to this site for further information. The address site is:
During the 1950’s and continuing into the early-to-mid 1960’s,the CAROLINA THEATRE on East Franklin Street in Downtown Chapel Hill became the subject of numerous protests and boycott demonstrations regarding this theatre’s segregation policies of not admitting people of color. This theatre was heavily picketed and boycotted when it refused to let African-Americans enter during the showing of “Black Orpheus” on August 18,1960. The sit-ins continue outside the main entrance of the theatre and was picketed until the film ended its weekly run on August 25,1960. Regarding the status of its policies numerous protests continued. Another film that really brought it to national and local attention regarding its segregation policies of not admitting black patrons continued when protests and numerous sit-ins outside the main entrance of the theatre as well as demonstrations when the CAROLINA THEATRE showed the film “Porgy and Bess” starring Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge that played for a week running from January 2,1961 until January 9,1961. Numerous protests and sit-in demonstrations continue outside the main entrance of the theatre became front page news in the January 9,1961 edition of the Chapel Hill News with the main front heading titled:
“THEATER PICKETING TO CONTINUE;TWO STUDENTS ARRESTED”
This theatre was still picketed during the course of the film’s run in the town along with the other segregated cinema,THE VARSITY which was basically across the street and other Chapel Hill establishments that were fully segregated. It wasn’t until March of 1962 that a federal court order the CAROLINA and the VARSITY to integrated along with other businesses within the town. The CAROLINA on January 10,1961 replaced “Porgy and Bess” with another feature starring Sophia Loren in “A Breath of Scandal”,but still the theatre was still picketed and sit-ins outside the main entrance of the theatre continued. By,1963 the theatre was integrated due to a federal court’s desegregation order of all major businesses within the town of Chapel Hill.
David Dymond: the original STAR WARS movie played here first-run on July 1,1977. Saw it here.
the original SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER played here first-run as the original ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
From 1952 until 1982,the VARSITY was owned and operated under H.B. Meiselman-Eastern Federal Theatres.
The small tunnel to the front theatre that was illminated with Tivoli lighting was done in 1982 when this theatre was split into two sections and was renamed THE VARSITY 1 & 2 under Greensboro/Burlington based Janus Theatres. From 1982 until 2009,this theatre was Chapel Hill’s only venue for first-run features as well as foreign and independent releases until it changed hands when it became an independent cinema that was owned and operated by Bruce H. Stone that shows second-run films and classic Hollywood releases..
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA played here at the CAROLINA as a general release on April 2,1964.
During the 1950’s and early-1960’s this theater was the subject of its segregation policies towards African-Americans and was picketed. It was also the subject of many sit-ins that were against the Jim Crow laws of the South. Plenty of demonstrations occured here as well as other establishments throughout Chapel Hill that were segregated.
Opened on December 15,1966 under Charlotte based Stewart and Everett Theatres.
FROM THE DECEMBER 15,1966 EDITION OF THE ABERDEEN-SANDHILL CITIZEN NEWSPAPER:
“Town and Country Cinema Opening”–(December 15,1966)
The new Town and Country Cinema will open tonight in its new building on Highway 1,north of Aberdeen and just south of the Howard Johnson’s restaurant. On the big 19 ½ by 44 feet screen for the first time will be “Not With My Wife You Don’t!” starring Tony Curtis, George C. Scott and Virna Lisi. The new building and equipment,an ultra-modern theatre designed for motion picture enjoyment cost approximately $225,000,according to Charles B. Trexler,president,of Charlotte. The building with bulit and is owned by Volt Gilmore and released to Stewart and Everett Theatres of the Carolinas of which Mr. Trexler is president. Town and Country Cinema makes the 71st theatre in the Stewart and Everett Theatres of which Mrs. Trexler is vice-president. Town and Country Cinema makes the 71st theatre in the Stewart and Everett theatre chain in North Carolina,South Carolina and Virginia. It has a seating capacity of 600 with 72 seats for smokers. The theatre will have four showings daily with Saturday and Sunday will have five showings with the last picture show ending at 9:00pm. The decor of the building is gold and olive. Special features of the new Cinema will be convenient parking,spacious lobby and lounge,lounge chair seating with deep foam cushions and backs scientifically designed and spaced for maximum comfort,and special smoking lounge with specialized exhaust systems for removing smoke quickly,and a hi-fidelity sound for your listening pleasure;automatic zone controlled temperature for ideal “weather” year round. The coming attractions for the grand opening of the Town and Country Cinema will be James Coburn in “Our Man Flint”,and James Coburn in “Dead Heat on A Merry-Go-Round”,and Charlton Heston in “Khartoum”
The Towne Theatre opened in the late-1960’s as High Point’s first-ever suburban theatre with a seating capacity of 748. A lot of blockbuster movies got first-run billing at the Towne Theatre including it’s general engagement showing of THE GODFATHER on March 22,1972.
Other movies played here were CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND…..and more…..
1968-1975 Schneider-Merl Corporation
1975-1982 Martin Theatres [theatre was twinned by 1976]
1982-1994 Carmike Cinemas [closed in 1994]
The Towne Theatre opened on February 5,1968 as High Point’s first-ever suburban cinema with a seating capacity of 748 under Schneider-Merl Theatres.
Martin Theatres took over the operations of this theatre in 1975 and by 1976 it was twinned by splitting the original auditorium into two sections that seated 374 each in both auditoriums renaming it The Towne Twin Theatres.
Carmike Cinemas acquired this theatre in 1982 and it was Carmike that closed it in 1994 as a second-run dollar house cinema.
Opened on February 5,1968 with James Coburn in THE PRESIDENT’S ANALYST under Schneider-Merl Theatres. (1968-1975)
Was twinned in 1976 and renamed the Towne Twin Theatres under Martin Theatres.
Carmike Cinemas took over this theatre in 1982. And it was Carmike that closed it in 1994 as a second-run dollar house.
The lines snaked from the entrance of the cinema on the plaza side all the way toward the side of Hudson-Belk when STAR WARS played here at the Valley Twin on July 1,1977 to sold out capacity crowds where it ran for 21 weeks!
Richard Pryor in “Which Way Is Up?” played at the Valley Twin in December of 1977 and ran for two months. Saw it opening night with my parents with a capacity crowd that snaked around the cinema. Hilarious funny. Went back to see it the following week. Great movie.
“AMERICAN GRAFFITI” played at the Valley Twin in 1978 as a re-release.
There was also a OXFORD DRIVE-IN THEATRE in that city off Highway 158.
The Orpheum Theatre was still showing first-run movies until 1990.
This theatre was mentioned in Tim Tyson’s book “Blood Done Sign My Name” regarding the near race riot that occurred in the small town of Oxford,North Carolina in May of 1970.
It opened as the Park Place 12 on January 31,1997 with the premiere attractions for its grand opening.
“STAR WARS:SPECIAL EDITION”–(Showing on 3 screens in Dobly THX Digital Sound)
The other attractions for the Park Place Cinemas:“SCREAM”, “IN LOVE AND WAR”, “FIERCE CREATURES”, “MICHAEL”, “THE ENGLISH PATIENT”, “JERRY MAGUIRE”,“SPACE JAM”, “RANSOM”, “BEVERLY HILLS NINJA”, “MIRROR”, “MEET WALLY SPARKS”, “ONE FINE DAY”, “PORTRAIT OF A LADY”,“THE PEOPLE VERSUS LARRY FLYNT”,“DISNEY’S 101 DALMATIANS”
“THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK:SPECIAL EDITION”
“THE RETURN OF THE JEDI:SPECIAL EDITION”
It wasn’t until 2000 when it expanded from 12 to 16 screens under Carmike Cinemas.
Upon its opening on January 31,1997,the Park Place at the time was the only movie theatre in the small town of Morrisville that was between Cary and the Research Triangle Park. It was the only multiplex in town until January 25,2013 when Stone Theatres opened a 14-screen multiplex at Park West Village on the opposite side of nearby Cary Parkway and State Highway 54 across the street from the Park Place Shopping Center.
The Crossroads Stadium 20 opened on December 10,1999 as the Triangle’s second megaplex cinema and the first of Cary under Charlotte-based Consolidated Theatres. The premiere attractions for the grand opening were:
–“THE GREEN MILE”-Showing on three screens in DTS
–“TOY STORY 2”-Showing on three screens
–“AMERICAN BEAUTY”-Showing on two screens
Also: “BEING JOHN MALKOVICH”,“THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH”, “END OF DAYS”, “DEUCE BIGELOW”, “HAPPY TEXAS”, “THE BONE COLLECTOR”, “MUSIC OF THE HEART”,“DOUBLE JEOPARDY”, “THE IRON GIANT”,
COMING ATTRACTION: “BICENTENNIAL MAN”
The Crossroads Stadium IMAX Theatre opened on September 10,2010 with 360 seats.
The opening feature was “RESIDENT EVIL:AFTERLIFE”
The coming attractions were in IMAX:
“LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS”
“PARANORMAL ACTIVITY II”
“HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATH HALLOWS:PART ONE”
Correct: “STAR WARS” did played here as a re-release on July 21,1978 when it was the CAROLINA 1 & 2.
Also played here:
“STAR TREK:THE MOTION PICTURE”
“STAR TREK II:THE WRATH OF KHAN”
“STAR TREK III:THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK”
“THE KARATE KID” AND “THE KARATE KID II”
“SUPERMAN THE MOVIE”
“THE GODFATHER” AND “THE GODFATHER:PART II”
“BACK TO THE FUTURES I, II, III”
“BEVERLY HILLS COP” and “BEVERLY HILLS COP II”
“RETURN OF THE JEDI”
“GHOSTBUSTERS” AND “GHOSTBUSTERS II”
Opened on October 15,1942 as the CAROLINA THEATRE under Wilby-Kincey/Paramount/North Carolina Theatres that had a seating capacity of 1,145.
It remained a single screen theatre until 1971 when the original auditorium was split into two sections seating 571 each in both auditoriums as a twin theatre keeping the original lobby entrance. It was renamed the CAROLINA BLUE AND WHITE THEATRES,aka THE CAROLINA 1 & 2 under ABC Southeastern Theatres.
Wilby-Kincey ran this theatre as a single screen cinema from 1942 until 1971.
ABC Southeastern Theatres took over the operations from 1971 until 1978.
Plitt Southern Theatres operated it from 1978 to 1987.
Cineplex Odeon was the last theatre chain that operated the Carolina from 1987 until 1990,and it was Cineplex Odeon that closed the original CAROLINA THEATRE in 1990.
By March 19,1993,the CAROLINA THEATRE reopened to the public and all of Chapel Hill as a full scale arthouse cinema that specialized in showing first-run releases as well as independent and foreign films as well as documentaries. Where the original entrance was facing Franklin Street the new entrance was toward the side of Columbia Street(right next door to the Ackland Art Museum). It was renamed as the NEW CAROLINA THEATRE where it was a single screener with a seating capacity of 280. Special features included in this new cinema were access handicap seating as well as full scale gourmet concession stand that also served alcoholic beverages. The new auditorium had a prominent position where the original marquee was placed below the front of the screen. The owner who refurnished the NEW CAROLINA THEATRE was Bruce H. Stone who also operated the Chelsea Theatre at Timberlyne Shopping Center(located in the Northern section of the city). THE NEW CAROLINA THEATRE remained a showplace for great films until it’s closing on July 2,2005. The last picture show that played here to great fanfare and capacity crowds was the Oscar winning documentary “March of the Penguins” narrated by Morgan Freeman.
By 1979,it became a grindhouse discount dollar house showing mostly “B” movies, kung-fu, and blaxploitation flicks with the occasional late night “XXX” rated skin flick
Not only did “MARY POPPINS” played here but also had the Fayetteville showing of “THE SOUND OF MUSIC” too was given the first-run billing at the Miracle.
Other movies that played here were “AMERICAN GRAFFITI”,
“THE STING” among them were first-run at the Miracle.