Ottoway Theatre

12 North Tryon Street,
Charlotte, NC

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The Ottoway opened in 1912 and was Charlotte’s first purpose built cinema. Up to that point all the films being show in town were either special features in legitimate theaters like the Academy of Music or the Auditorium Theatre or shown in nickelodeons that were nothing more than converted storefronts.

The Ottoway had a big hit not long after opening when ‘Queen Elizabeth’ staring Sarah Bernhardt was screened in November of 1912. The theater ran successfully through the 20’s but was a victim of the Depression and closed in 1930.

Contributed by Mark Huffstetler

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm

The University of North Carolina’s “Going to the Show” web feature includes the first known newspaper advertisement for the Ottoway Theatre. The brief three line ad was published in the Charlotte Daily Observer of July 7, 1911.

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