Carolina Theatre

226 N. Tryon Street,
Charlotte, NC 28202

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Carolina Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened on March 7, 1927, the Carolina Theatre is located in the heart of downtown Charlotte. In the 1940’s in was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary H.F. Kincey.

Despite a successful multi-decade run, including a period as a Cinerama theatre, the Carolina Theatre closed on November 27, 1978, and was damaged by arson in the 1980’s. Many decorative elements of the original interior were removed, but others remain including the (badly damaged) murals. The lobby and entrance portion of the building was demolished recently, but the space from the auditorium to the street was very recently turned into a beautiful mini-park. The building is structurally sound, the exterior has been repaired and repainted.

In April 2013, the city of Charlotte sold the Carolina Theatre for $1.00 to the Foundation for the Carolinas which intends to restore it as a performing arts and community center seating between 1,000 and 1,200. This project, estimated to cost $25,000,000, benefited from a $5,000,000 pledge from the Bank of America on January 28, 2014, to kick-start its fundraising campaign for the restoration. They are planning on reopening the Carolina Theatre in 2016.

Contributed by Ross Melnick, Dave Litterer

Recent comments (view all 142 comments)

Patsy
Patsy on July 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Perhaps some exist…..good luck!

CarolinaTheatreMJ
CarolinaTheatreMJ on August 1, 2013 at 10:32 am

Hi. I’ve started work again on the website and I’m looking for help in creating it. I want a modern look (as opposed to my handwritten site from several years back) and I want to integrate Wordpress for the blog and comments. Also, I have hundreds of photos and dozens of videos to add, so I’m interested in seeing the best of the historic theatre sites you know about. So far, the Foundation for the Carolinas has not decided what they want to do and therefore there is no money available (if that matters). Cheers! Michael Johnston

ncmark
ncmark on January 29, 2014 at 9:10 am

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

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 29, 2014 at 4:29 pm

PITY the Downtown, or UPTOWN as you guys say, THEATRES were lost…a pity..

Patsy
Patsy on January 29, 2014 at 7:41 pm

ncmark: This is wonderful news for those of us who love uptown Charlotte and all that it has to offer including the Blumenthal PAC and the Knight Center. To see a projected opening date of 2016 is “music to my ears”. Charlotte is not the only city to have lost an historical theatre(s) as I recall reading about a few in Nashville that should still be standing today. The Carolina Theatre building stands waiting to be rediscovered and given a rebirth. Thank you Bank of America for your pledge to kickstart the renovation of this important piece of Charlotte’s past.

raysson
raysson on January 30, 2014 at 9:05 am

THE CAROLINA THEATRE was the only theatre in the state of North Carolina that showed movies in CINERAMA……

Among the CINERAMA Engagements….

“HOW THE WEST WAS WON”

“THE WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM”

“ICE STATION ZEBRA”

“KRAKATOA:EAST OF JAVA”

“CIRCUS WORLD”

“GRAND PRIX”

“2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY”

raysson
raysson on January 30, 2014 at 9:11 am

Among the roadshow engagements in 70mm at the CAROLINA:

“RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN’S OKLAHOMA”

“GIANT”

“SOUTH PACIFIC”

“RISE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE”

“CAROUSEL”

“THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK”

“THE ALAMO”-John Wayne

“THE KING AND I”-Yul Brenner

“LAWRENCE OF ARABIA”

“DOCTOR ZHIVAGO”

“HAWAII”-Julie Andrews

“PAINT YOUR WAGON”

“PATTON”

“SWEET CHARITY”

“HELLO DOLLY!”

“THE SOUND OF MUSIC”

among others…..

Patsy
Patsy on January 30, 2014 at 9:12 am

raysson: Thanks for listing these engagements. 2016 is going to be a banner year for the long awaited Carolina Theatre to once again become a visual and viable presence in uptown Charlotte.

raysson
raysson on January 30, 2014 at 9:16 am

The CAROLINA THEATRE opened on March 7,1927.

Closed its doors on November 27,1978.

It was also the first theatre in the state to have full CINEMASCOPE projection for its showing of THE ROBE on October 29,1953. It was the only showing of the film in the two Carolinas.

raysson
raysson on January 30, 2014 at 9:18 am

It was the first theatre in the state to also have the showing of THIS IS CINERAMA on December 22,1961.

Not to mention..“CINERAMA ADVENTURE”…..

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