Carolina Theatre

226 N. Tryon Street,
Charlotte, NC 28202

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binchwb
binchwb on June 30, 2016 at 12:19 pm

I got to tour this theater during the initial phase of restoration fundraising, which I could swear was during Springfest in the early-mid 90s (do they do Springfest in Charlotte anymore?). It was very surreal – the entire lobby corridor was gone. The main entrance to the auditorium was set back from North Tryon with the space between where the old marquis was and the auditorium door just an open-air area. The auditorium itself was decrepit and stunning at the same time. I’m assuming the structure itself was sound, but it was like walking through a building that had been burned out – dark, dingy, but fascinating nonetheless. I’m glad to hear it’s being restored. I worked at several theaters in Charlotte and frequented many others in the 70s, 80s, and 90s – most all have been torn down. It seems that there could be some positive use for these old auditoriums, but that can’t always be the case.

Patsy
Patsy on April 30, 2016 at 5:38 pm

spectrum: Can’t seem to download the first link. Is it correctly given?

spectrum
spectrum on April 30, 2016 at 10:09 am

Their press release from Dec. 2015 indicates restoration will start in 2016 with the opening tentatively in 2018.

http://www.fftc.org/document.doc?id=2657

The theatre itself has an official website at

http://www.fftc.org/carolina-theatre

Patsy
Patsy on January 16, 2016 at 9:29 pm

What is the current status?

Patsy
Patsy on July 8, 2015 at 1:17 pm

This theatre had an organ and I wondered if anyone knows where it may have gone?

Patsy
Patsy on July 8, 2015 at 1:16 pm

This is more exciting news out of Mecklenburg County for 2016!

ncmark
ncmark on July 8, 2015 at 1:00 pm

The Charlotte Mecklenburg County Commission has awarded a $4.2 million grant to the Carolina Theater project. This brings the total raised to $31.2 million with a total goal of $35 million. This is the first public money raised so far. The swift fundraising will allow construction to start in 2016. It looks to be a very exciting project.

Patsy
Patsy on June 25, 2015 at 5:26 pm

Thanks for the ever important updates. At least the project is a go and the building will be saved!

raysson
raysson on June 25, 2015 at 5:12 pm

PREVIOUSLY OPERATED UNDER…….

1927-1957 Paramount/Publix/North Carolina Theatres

1957-1971 Wilby-Kincey Corporation

1971-1978 ABC Southeastern Theatres

LuisV
LuisV on June 25, 2015 at 4:59 pm

This appeared in today’s Charlotte Observer. It looks like this project is a go. Per the article it does not appear like it will function in any way as a true theater and that’s very disappointing.

“Despite its theatrical history, the renovated Carolina Theatre is being designed to serve as more of a civic gathering space with 1,000 seats for public discourse, including speeches, lectures, debates and conferences. Proposed plans for the renovated theatre include expanding outward with a main lobby that will replace the park currently located on Tryon and upward with three floors of office space and a boutique hotel.”

http://www.charlotteagenda.com/7686/major-renovations-planned-for-carolina-theatre-will-resurrect-the-historic-site-closed-since-1978/

Patsy
Patsy on April 5, 2015 at 11:17 am

That is wonderful news on Easter Sunday! I recall when I first came to town and saw that corner in 2003..knowing that a great theatre building was there waiting to be restored. Thanks “ncmark” for your recent post and for keeping us all updated. I hope to see the Charlotte Ballet perform on the Carolina Theatre stage someday.

ncmark
ncmark on April 5, 2015 at 7:53 am

The Charlotte Observer reports that a recent gift from Wells Fargo of $2 million brings the total raised for renovation of the Carolina Theater to $27 million.

Patsy
Patsy on December 22, 2014 at 3:42 pm

I see there are accent colored lights on the former Carolina Theatre uptown corner now. Hope to see work started on the theatre and rebuilding of the lobby in 2015!!

raysson
raysson on December 22, 2014 at 3:38 pm

“PATTON” was the only Reserved Seat Engagement Showing in the Carolinas at Charlotte’s Carolina Theatre in 1970.

raysson
raysson on December 22, 2014 at 3:37 pm

It was the only CINERAMA Theatre in the Carolinas….. The Reserved Seat Cinerama Engagements for…..

“The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm”

“How The West Was Won”

“Krakatoa: East of Java”

“Ice Station Zebra”

“2001: A Space Odyssey”

“Circus World”

“This is CINERAMA”

“CINERAMA’S South Seas Adventure”

Scott
Scott on October 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Thanks Patsy. I read the Observer article but it didn’t come across to me whether they were going to attempt to replicate the original lobby. Hopefully they will at least adhere to it in style. I didn’t realize the facade was saved. That was a good bit of foresight.

Patsy
Patsy on October 9, 2014 at 8:31 pm

“The Carolina Theatre‚Äôs facade, dismantled by the city in the late 1980s and stacked under the stage, will be placed on the front of the new lobby, facing Tryon.” I would like to see the new lobby based on the original design though it doesn’t exactly say that in the article. I would think that it would be based on the original so it would be in keeping with the original design in the auditorium. I have entered that space a few times and each time I am struck by how beautiful it must have been in its heyday. Congrats to the City of Charlotte and the Belk Foundation for realizing the importance of saving this historic theatre in uptown Charlotte.

Patsy
Patsy on October 9, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Scott: I think this is addressed in the Charlotte Observer article. I do recall reading that the numbered facade pieces would be replaced.

Scott
Scott on October 9, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Since the lobby and entrance were both demolished, has the Foundation announced its plan with respect to those spaces? That is, are they going to build a lobby based on the original design, or are they going with an entirely new design?

Patsy
Patsy on October 9, 2014 at 12:28 pm

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/10/06/5224322/belk-family-members-give-8m-to.html

Patsy
Patsy on October 7, 2014 at 9:11 am

Yes! Wonderful news! Tell us more and my email is

Susan Walker
Susan Walker on October 7, 2014 at 7:23 am

The Belk Family has contributed $8,000,000 to the renovation of the Carolina. YES.

raysson
raysson on January 30, 2014 at 12:18 pm

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”…..

raysson
raysson on January 30, 2014 at 12:16 pm

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.

Patsy
Patsy on January 30, 2014 at 12:12 pm

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.