Capri Theater

3500 East Independence Boulevard,
Charlotte, NC 28205

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Capri Theatre - 1966

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The Capri Theatre opened on October 16, 1964, with 995 seats. The opening film was Polly Bergan “Kisses For my President” It was a single screen theatre owned and was operated by Charlotte based Stewart and Everett Theatres. The theatre itself was a real showplace and it was the second moviehouse to open that year (the other was the Park Terrace Theatre which opened in May). It was also the second cinema along Independence Boulevard (the other was the Charlottetown I & II, owned and operated by General Cinema, which opened in 1963 as one of the first twin theatres to be established in North Carolina).

The overall decor of the Capri Theatre (with its ‘upside-down’ pyramids overlooking the front entrance) were impressive state of the art features of its interior, that were revolutionary for its day, and Charlotte loved it. The seating was plush, rocking chair seats and it had brilliant widescreen projection that was capable of showing both 35mm & 70mm films.

The Capri Theatre became the first to show premiere engagements, that were exclusive to North Carolina. The Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn musical “My Fair Lady” had its North Carolina Premiere engagement here in 1964 where it played to capacity crowds during its exclusive roadshow run. Other N.C. Premiere’s that played the Capri Theatre were “Thoroughly Modern Millie” in 1967, as well as the documentary feature “Stockcar” in 1967 when it was still a single screen theatre.

The theatre was ‘twinned’ in the mid-1970’s, when a second building was constructed that had 400 seats. By the early 1980’s, the original auditorium was split into two screens down the centre, making it a triple screen operation, now with a total seating capacity for 1,286. By 1986, the theatre was acquired by Carmike Cinemas, and by 1996, the Capri Theatre was closed.

Contributed by muray, raymond

Recent comments (view all 62 comments)

tccox
tccox on March 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Patricia. I was there when the exorcist was there also. We must have worked together.

PatriciaCarol
PatriciaCarol on March 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm

You would be right but I don’t remember anyone by the last name of Cox (assuming that is your last name). You probably paid little attention to me. I worked very part-time in the beginning but (I think) at least two part-time shifts on the weekend during The Exorcist. Exorcist was so busy – the ushers were really, really working with the crowd and we were crazy back behind the concession stand – as soon as we finally got the last served, it would start all over again as people arrived early for the next show. Wasn’t lots of time for chit-chatting while it played. Learned how to count back change in that job – no one knows how to do that anymore but I’ve never forgotten.

raysson
raysson on March 2, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Patricia Carol: It must have been crazy dealing with the capacity crowds when “E.T.” played there in June of 1982. I know the ushers were really working their behinds off between showings,not to mention dealing with the capacity crowds that arrived early for that too. By the way Patricia e-mail me sometime at I have in my possession the original ads for “E.T.” where it played at the Capri first-run in 1982. Also,the original ad from January 28,1965 where the Capri played “My Fair Lady” during it’s exclusive roadshow run. Not to mention,I have the ad for the theatre’s grand opening from the Charlotte Observer newspaper of November 2,1964.

PatriciaCarol
PatriciaCarol on March 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Don’t know how busy it was in 1982 with “E.T.” – I left in 1975 – didn’t remember that picture playing first run there either. About the ads – do you mean you have the tear sheets? (from the newspaper) Or do you mean you have the actual paste-ups? I’ll email you.

Jay Morong
Jay Morong on July 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm

I am working on a project on “Lost” Charlotte Movie Theaters for UNC-Charlotte where i am a faculty member. Would love to get in touch with anyone who as insight into this theater (stories, pics, whatever). You can send me an email at and hopefully we can talk about your interest or info on the lost theaters of Charlotte. – Thanks

NightHawk1
NightHawk1 on September 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm

In my opinion the Capri was the best looking theater Stewart & Everett ever built; S&E apparently never used the Capri’s design for any other location – this was obviously S&E’s flagship until they opened the Town Cinema 6 in the 1980s (The Town Cinema was cloned several times, unlike the Capri). Under Carmike the Capri and Village theaters were run as dollar houses; the Village closed first (about 1989) and the Capri closed after Carmike took over Cineplex Odeon’s NC theaters (Park Terrace and Matthews Festival 10 in the Charlotte area) in 1990. The Capri Theater closed long before 1996; AKA Capri 1 & 2, Capri 1-2-3, and finally Capri Triple.

tccox
tccox on January 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Nighthawk1 The Capri was a single screen , 995 seat theatre from the time it opened until I left in 1974. Second and third screens were added after 1974

raysson
raysson on March 4, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn in THE LION IN WINTER played here as a reserved seat engagement at Charlotte’s Capri Theatre on February 12, 1969. It was the ONLY roadshow presentation that played within the two Carolinas with two performances during each showing.

Jay Morong
Jay Morong on July 5, 2013 at 11:06 pm

In doing some research on this theater i have found out that the theater actually opened on October 16th, 1964 and not on November 2nd as listed above. Not a huge deal but thought it would be good to post. I will post a picture of the opening night ad that proclaims the theater as “a new concept in theatre design” and also a blurb about the opening of the theater in the photo section.

raysson
raysson on July 10, 2013 at 2:38 pm

THE RESERVED SEATING CAROLINA ENGAGEMENT SHOWINGS @ CAPRI

“Thoroughly Modern Millie”-June 14,1967

“My Fair Lady”-January 27,1965

“The Agony and the Ecstasy”-January 26,1966

“The Hallelujah Trail”-October 7,1965

“The Lion In Winter”-February 12,1969

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