511 E. 36th Street,
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The Astor Theater was built in 1945 in an area of north Charlotte that had three textile mills. The Astor Theater opened in March 194 and, along with shops, churches, a branch of the YMCA, served the mill communit. It was operated as an African-American theater. In the 1960’s the area was in extreme decline, and the Astor Theater showed X-rated movies, becoming the Astor Art Theater. A topless bar was next door and prostitutes often worked the street. The theater 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 Theater was restored as the Neighborhood Theater, 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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