Playhouse Theatre

151 E. Broad Street,
Statesville, NC 28677

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Playhouse Theatre

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The Playhouse Theatre in Statesville was built in the early-1900’s as a live performance theatre, complete with dressing rooms, trap doors, and a huge fly area. It was fronted by the Stearns office building.

It was owned by Statesville Theatre Corporation, but then sold to Stewart & Everett in the early-1970’s.

It lasted as a movie theatre until it was demolished in 1983. A Wachovia bank stands where the Playhouse Theatre once stood.

This contributor worked there as a teenager from 1970-1974, as a concession attendant, projectionist, doorman, and assistant manager.

Contributed by Kevin Angley

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

Patsy on March 11, 2008 at 6:26 pm

And it has some historically beautiful homes. One of them was on a recent holiday house tour.

angley on March 23, 2008 at 5:56 pm

Was good to see comments from descendants of the Stearns. I actually grew up in a home that I was told was the model home for one of their developments on Reynolda Drive in Statesville.

I was going to post a photo of the Playhouse (taken from the March 1982 Record & Landmark article on the closing of the Playhouse’s last days), but the photo feature isn’t working.

I would really like to hear from others that worked at the Playhouse, as I did from 1970-1974.

Kevin Angley
Raleigh, NC

Thomas2 on June 18, 2008 at 6:31 am

The following is information that I discovered in the Statesville Daily Record, The Landmark, the Statesville Record, and the Statesville Record and Landmark. (I should keep better notes) This is a great place to put it.

Villa Heights Drive-in Theatre
Hickory Highway Dial 5038

Hillcrest Drive-in
Salisbury Road Dial 5878

Roxie Theatre Troutman, NC

Center Theater (Harmony, NC)
Jan 6, 1949 prices 9cents 20cents quarter

Playhouse March 8, 1954
Adults 1-2 40cents 2-6 50cents Evening 60cents
Children Mat 20cents Nite 25cents

angley on January 25, 2009 at 10:57 am

Just was rereading some of this thread. The theatre that was on S. Center Street between E. Front and E. Broad was the State. I can remember that you could go upstairs and look through a window at the projectors.

An expansion of the Spainhour’s store in the mid-60s occupied that space.

thornhillstuff on April 1, 2009 at 1:06 pm

The STATE THEATRE in STATESVILLE, N.C., opened in 1940 and closed April 23, 1961. The final feature shown was THE MILLIONAIRESS starring Sophia Loren and Peter Sellers. The site was taken over by an expansion of SPAINHOURS and THREE SISTERS DRESS SHOP.

There was also the CRESCENT THEATRE in downtown Statesville from the mid-1920s until early 1950s.

My family owned and operated the two drive-theaters. VILLA HEIGHTS opened in 1948. We operated it until 1960, when we leased it to STATESVILLE THEATRE. HILLCREST opened in 1949. We closed it in 1959.

thornhillstuff on April 1, 2009 at 1:09 pm

There was also the I-77 DRIVE-IN THEATER in Statesville. It opened in the early 1970s. (Difficult to believe anyone would build a drive-in that late.)

lumierefl on July 19, 2009 at 7:17 am

I did some shooting in Statesville last year and just posted a photo that contains what is said to have been the Crescent Theater. It’s now a jewelry store, second shop from the right.

View link

Thomas2 on March 29, 2010 at 8:08 pm

You can use this map for location:

View link

Scroll downtown. You can also see where the State Theater was located. You can note other places on the map if you like. That would help grow the value of the map.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 22, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Rmc yes, and it was in a stone’s throw off I-77.I took pictures long after everything was stripped.Thanks Steve.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 24, 2012 at 11:54 am

The January 11, 1927, issue of The Film Daily said that Carolina Theatres, Inc., planned to open two new houses that month; an unnamed theater at Elizabeth City and the Playhouse at Statesville, which would begin operation on January 29. This web page about theaters in Statesville indicates that they missed their target date, and that the Playhouse opened on February 19, 1927.

The Playhouse opened with a musical review, George White’s Scandals. As the first movie in that series was made in 1934, this had to have been a road company of the stage production. The last movie shown at the Playhouse, The Soggy Bottom Gang, closed on March 7, 1982. Demolition took place in April, 1983.

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