Carolina Theatre

226 N. Tryon Street,
Charlotte, NC 28202

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Carolina Theatre

Opened on March 7, 1927, the Carolina Theatre is located in the heart of downtown Charlotte. It was built for and operated by Publix. 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 $51,500,000, 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. In 2018 Barings Bank gifted $500,000 which completed the $51.5 million required for the renovations. Construction has begun in renovating the Carolina Theatre with a planned 2020 reopening. A 32-story Intercontinental Hotel will be built on top of the theatre and the new project will be named Belk Place in honor of the Belk family.

Contributed by Ross Melnick, Dave Litterer

Recent comments (view all 173 comments)

Patsy on November 3, 2019 at 3:38 pm

Music to my ears.

Patsy on January 18, 2020 at 6:01 pm

What is the latest?

spectrum on June 20, 2020 at 9:37 am

According to the Spring 2020 newsletter:


The foundation work for the tower in front of the auditorium is finished and the “core components” of the tower have been rising, by June, they would be above the level of the auditorium — it looks like construction is well underway!

Patsy on June 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Music to my ears! Btw, this theatre should now be marked as renovating and not closed.

Patsy on June 20, 2020 at 12:07 pm

Patsy on June 20, 2020 at 12:13 pm

Sorry if the link I just posted is not in blue to simply tap on it. It is worth reading. Can’t tell you how pleased I am to see this theatre finally being restored in downtown Charlotte! When I moved to Charlotte in 2003 I knew that it had been quite the theatre in its heyday and that it was worth saving. Thank goodness it was never demolished then and is now being restored for future generations. There were many Carolina Theatres throughout NC and many are listed as closed. Such a shame. I haven’t posted on CT for quite awhile though feel it is time to start posting again on a site that is close to my heart. Thank you Ross for creating CT for all of us theatre buffs. Btw, I hope to have a theatre exhibit in September in remembrance of my hometown theatre, the Grand in Westfield NY though COVID may require changes in the plan. The Grand is listed on CT. Check it out.

ghamilton on June 22, 2020 at 3:14 pm

It has been a long time since I posted anything,also,Patsy. That this project is going forward,will be a great asset to Charlotte .

Patsy on June 22, 2020 at 3:43 pm

A great asset and a very long time coming.

spectrum on November 9, 2020 at 6:58 pm

Another update - their Fall 2020 newsletter. Construction continues, on many fronts including lobby tower, stagehouse infrastructure and more.

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