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After a long renovation the Mars Hill Radio Theatre reopens today, June 11, 2016 with a music concert. Movies are part of the mix as well and they kick off soon. A radio station is also based in the theater. This is welcome news for the theater that had been closed since 1992.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg County Commission has awarded a $4.2 million grant to the Carolina Theater project. This brings the total raised to $31.2 million with a total goal of $35 million. This is the first public money raised so far. The swift fundraising will allow construction to start in 2016. It looks to be a very exciting project.
The Charlotte Observer reports that a recent gift from Wells Fargo of $2 million brings the total raised for renovation of the Carolina Theater to $27 million.
Work is under way to renovate the Mars. The doors were open recently and I peaked inside. This place has great potential. It’s interesting to step inside the small lobby and then enter right into the back row of the balcony. The main floor has a fairly steep rake to it and the entire space has a wonderful vibe. The curved screen is still in place and the stage area is being enlarged. 2015 should hopefully see this retro theater back in service. I’m not sure yet what the programming mix will be.
The Charlotte Observer reports today that Bank of America has pledged a $5 million gift to kickstart the renovation of the Carolina Theatre. It is a good start on the estimated $25 million renovation budget. The Foundation for the Carolinas is leading the project with a planned opening date of 2016
I think this is the only movie theater in Madison County. It has an interesting interior layout. It’s built on a hill and after coming into the small lobby you enter into the rear of the balcony or take a staircase down to the main floor. Although it’s been vacate for some time the seats and screen are still in place. The theater has a sign in the window saying it is available.
The address for this theater was 210 9th ave N. The building at that address now looks like it is a remodeled version of the old Gloria shell. It appears the old ticket window and side entrance to the balcony for blacks is intact on the left front corner.
Excellent news for the future of the Carolina. The city has given the Foundation for the Carolinas – the next door neighbor of the theater -the option to purchase, redevelop and renovate the site. More information from the Charlotte Observer
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/12/17/3732909/charlotte-selects-foundation-for.html#storylink=cpy
Charlotte Observer article about plans for the Carolina Theatre from 10-15-12. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/10/15/3598083/city-council-sees-jewel-in-old.html
A glimmer of hope for the Carolina as reported in the Charlotte Observer. The Foundation for the Carolinas – a local non profit umbrella organization and the new next door neighbor of the Carolina -has asked the city to investigate possible reuses now that the developers option to purchase the theater has expired and will not be renewed.
The Garr Auditorium that was built out of the salvage of the old Charlotte Auditorium is currently being demolished. It has been vacant since Hurricane Hugo opened up parts of the roof in 1989. The city has forced the demolition after it was determined that the structure was too far gone to save.
The Center has been demolished as planned in 2009.
Triplexed in November 1982.
The Tryon Mall opened on March 24, 1972 with the Paul Newman movie ‘Pocket Money’. It was billed as an Ultravision theater and was the last single screen cinema built in Charlotte. It must hold some sort of record for being twinned though as it opened the second screen on December 25, 1974. I guess that short time frame is part of the reason I couldn’t remember it being a single screener. It was converted to four screens in 1984 and in its last years was a discount house. In the early years it was a very nice theater with some good local exclusives including ‘The Way We Were’, ‘Earthquake’ and ‘Jaws’. The building has housed a variety of different nightclubs and it looks like work is current being done on the building for some other venture.
After closing in 1971 this theater reopened in 1972 as ‘The New Ritz’ and played movies for a few more years. It sat vacant for many years with the marquee intact before being demolished.
It looks like the Manor was twinned in 1984 according to the movie listings in the local paper from that era.
The local media has reported that the city council is again extending the time frame for the developer to purchase the Carolina. The hope is that the economy can recover enough to support this development and construction could begin by 2011.
The official name was Trans-Lux Inflight Cinema and they originally used 16mm film projectors like airlines first did. The individual screens were known at various times as cine gold & cine blue or cine 1 & 2. It was in a strip center anchored by a Zayre discount store.
This is a great theater that does good business. I like the sympathetic subdivision of the original theater and the use of old theater artifacts in the new construction. The original bathrooms were recently remodeled and I was surprised that they took out the old fixtures. The finished product looks like any new bathroom anywhere. I loved the old urinals that went to the floor. I wish they had left them alone. Old fixtures are fine as long as they are kept clean.
This is a duplicate listing. It is already on CT as the Plaza Theatre.
This is a duplicate listing. This theater is already on CT.
This is a duplicate listing. It is already on CT as the Hanes Mall Cinema
This is a duplicate listing. The Orpheum in Oxford is already on CT.
The installation of Cinerama into the Carolina required about three weeks which resulted in drastic changes to the interior. Out went any remains of the semi-atmospheric Spanish decor. The deeply curved Cinerama screen spilled out well beyond the 40 foot proscenium. The entire interior was draped which caused much damage to the high relief plaster ornamentation. The three projection booths were added to the rear of the orchestra floor and a large wedge was cut out from the underside of the balcony to allow the images to reach the top of the screen. The ground level of the exterior facade was modernized at this time as well.
The Carolina remained the number one house in Charlotte through the sixties even as some newer suburban cinemas increased competition. After all the 3 strip Cinerama films were shown the programming expanded to include other big roadshow features. Extended runs of such popular movies as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, The Sound of Music', ‘Dr. Zhivago’ and a re-issue of ‘Gone with the Wind’ sent several of the single strip Cinerama films into general release runs at other area theaters.
Charlotte was one of the smaller markets to get a Cinerama theater and it drew from both North and South Carolina. Today on the opposite corner from the shuttered Carolina stands the Discovery Place IMAX Dome Theater which carries on with the tradition of cutting edge large format film programming for the region.
The Auditorium was opened in 1908 for the Democratic State Convention and was by architect L.L. Hunter. It was dismantled and moved to its current location in 1932. Its original capacity was 4500 including a balcony and gallery but the main floor was probably movable seats to accommodate a variety of different style events.