Masonic Theatre

514 Hancock Street,
New Bern, NC 28560

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The Masonic Theatre was built approximately 1810 with the theater on the ground level and a Masonic lodge above the theater. During the Union occupation of New Bern in the Civil War the theater was renamed Union Theatre; after the war ended the Masonic Theatre name was revived.

Originally a legitimate house, movies were being shown here by 1910. The Masonic Theatre would be New Bern’s leading downtown movie theater for decades; the Athens Theatre (originally a vaudeville house) was its primary competitor. The advent of television and drive-in theatres hurt business, but it was the arrival of shopping-center cinemas that finally forced the Masonic Theatre to close in 1974. The Southgate Cinema 1 & 2 opened around the same time as the Masonic Theatre closed.

Contributed by NightHawk1

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

NightHawk1
NightHawk1 on January 31, 2014 at 4:49 am

Status of the Masonic Theatre should be open. It is once again a legitimate theater (its original purpose), home of the RiverTowne Players. The Masonic Theatre began showing movies in 1917 (not 1910) and continued as a movie house until 1974. The correct address is 514 Hancock Street.

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