Visulite Theatre

1615 Elizabeth Avenue,
Charlotte, NC 28294

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Carmichael
Carmichael on February 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

When I lived in the Queen City from 1957-197, the Visulite was Charlotte’s elite art theater. Owned by Jay Schrader and his son, Bob, the Visulite played a riveting schedule of amazing films. A few highlights that I saw there included, The Horse’s Mouth (Alec Guiness), The Mouse that Roared (Peter Sellers), Goldfinger, A Man & A Woman, Cabaret, and many more. The Visulite is a gem of Charlotte’s cultural heritage. My father was in the movie business and we visited the Schrader’s home on many occasions.

PatriciaCarol
PatriciaCarol on February 17, 2012 at 7:26 pm

This was always the cool place to go in the ‘70s. Saw “Tunnel Vision” there and also The Who’s “Tommy”. I always liked the area — there was a neat-little sandwich place across the street (People’s Food?) in an old two-story house with an Earth Shoes store above it.

raysson
raysson on January 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm

George Lucas science-fiction blockbuster STAR WARS played here from July 21,1978 until September 1,1978 as many of its exclusive re-releases. I have the original ads for this too.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 28, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Charlotte had a bad habit of tearing down all her downtown theatres during the 80’s building boom.At least,Atlanta had enough sense to save a couple of downtown theatres. Charlotte was a film bookers city .You would have thought someone there would have saved the old theatres.

aarfeld
aarfeld on September 5, 2009 at 8:57 pm

There is also a Visulite Theater in Staunton, Virginia, as well (I think it’s around the same size) which also featured back-of-the-screen projection. It sat empty for a number of years and then, I believe it was a playhouse. After an extensive restoration it is once again a movie theater, though I don’t think the films are projected from behind the screen anymore as I don’t believe the equipment exists today to support that technology.

ncmark
ncmark on December 23, 2006 at 10:27 am

I have many fond memories of movie going at the Visulite in the 70’s and early 80’s. It was Charlotte’s art house venue at the time and they showed great films. I saw my first subtitled movies here and learned to love alternative cinema. Luckily the Manor Theater has taken up some of the slack now that the Visulite is a music venue. The art house programming at the Manor sure is tame in comparison to the good old days of the Visulite though.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 17, 2006 at 12:30 pm

This is the website for the Visulite Theater.

bennyfolse
bennyfolse on December 11, 2006 at 3:14 pm

I so remember this place in the early'70s. I saw several pictures there that were considered ‘art’ films, like ‘Harold and Maude’. ;–) We used to go there late nights and then hit the Krispy Kreme on Independence Blvd. There was a Earth Shoes store across the street!

Patsy
Patsy on June 14, 2006 at 7:21 pm

Already Taken: Plans to restore the facade of this theatre would be a wonderful start and certainly help the Elizabeth Ave. Project.

appatone
appatone on June 14, 2006 at 7:12 pm

I heard at a meeting at CPCC a while back that Grubb Properties wanted to restore the facade of this theatre as part of their Elizabeth Ave. Project.

Patsy
Patsy on June 1, 2006 at 3:45 am

If this theatre had a history, it’s long gone now!

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 1, 2006 at 3:42 am

Here is a photo of the Visulite Theater.

Patsy
Patsy on June 1, 2005 at 11:50 am

ohenry: Funny story and it sounds like your mom was a concerned and loving mother. Now if we could only generate concern and love for Charlotte’s Carolina Theatre! If you wish to learn more about this theatre, please contact Charlie Clayton at the following email address: .com and/or log onto the following site for a complete history of the Carolina Theatre: View link

ohenry
ohenry on June 1, 2005 at 10:03 am

Oops, I meant to spell that Astor…

ohenry
ohenry on June 1, 2005 at 10:02 am

Patsy,
That was the Aster Theater on 36th Street. In the 1960’s, it was the only place in Charlotte to see sex flicks… my mom wouldn’t let me even look in that direction. Now it’s a concert venue: The Neighborhood Theater

Patsy
Patsy on February 9, 2005 at 10:41 am

There are many theatres listed under Charlotte NC so if anyone can tell me about a theatre that I spotted in the NoDa section of the city, thanks. I was trying to find someone’s home near Matheson and North Davidson when I spotted a small theatre in that part of town, but didn’t have time to go around the block and check it out!

Patsy
Patsy on February 9, 2005 at 10:37 am

I read that it utilized rear-screen projection which is interesting as I guess that was a rare feature. My husband’s hometown theatre in PA utilized this projection. When I asked him about his theatre memories while growing up as a young boy that was the first thing he mentioned!

deleted user
[Deleted] on February 9, 2005 at 10:26 am

The Visulite Theatre was built in 1938 with seating for 540 patrons.

Patsy
Patsy on February 9, 2005 at 10:13 am

It’s too bad the old marquee and ticket window can’t be returned to this ‘performance space’.

RobbyfromCharlotte
RobbyfromCharlotte on December 16, 2004 at 7:35 am

In the 1960s the Visulite ran the movie “Goldfinger” for almost a year. It also ran “art house” films. The old marquee and ticket window are gone, but at least the theater is still there, and is being used as a performance space.

mhlt
mhlt on March 22, 2004 at 2:28 pm

The Visulite Theatre utilized rear-screen projection, possibly the only such installation in Charlotte. It was an intimate space, with the feel of a real art house.

William
William on December 5, 2003 at 6:16 pm

The Visulite Theatre seated 500 people.