511 E. 36th Street,
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The Astor Theatre was built in 1945 in an area of north Charlotte that had three textile mills. The Astor Theatre opened on March 1, 1948 with Gary Cooper in “The Plainsman”. It was operated as an African-American theatre. In the 1960’s the area was in extreme decline, and the Astor Theatre showed X-rated movies, becoming the Astor Art Theatre on May 1, 1964 with “Her Bikini Never Got Wet” & “Adam and Six Eves”. A topless bar was next door and prostitutes often worked the street. The theatre closed and a church took over the building, then it closed.
Duing the 1990’s art galleries began to locate in this area. The Astor Theatre was restored as the Neighborhood Theatre, a perfoming arts venue which has features such musicians as Livingston Taylor, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Ralph Stanley.
The area, known as the ‘arts district’ or NoDa (for it’s location on North Davidson Avenue) has undergone an amazing transformation, with restaurants, gallaries, condos, and restored mill houses serving as residences and shops.
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