Cary Theater

122 E. Chatham Street,
Cary, NC 27511

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Additional Info

Functions: Movies (Classic)

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News About This Theater

photo of Cary theatre in 1960. To the right is Mitchell's drug store.

The Cary Theater was the city’s first indoor motion picture theater and opened in 1941. After its closing as a movie theater in 1960, it was used as a clothing store, as a recording studio, and as an auto parts store.

The City of Cary incorporated the former theater into a new community arts center, with new construction immediately adjacent to and also within the theater. The new facility, which serves a variety of cultural and performing arts functions,has flexible seating, a balcony, and projection facilities. A new marquee is of a design reflective of the era of the original theater’s construction. It was reopened February 14, 2014.

Contributed by Christopher Walczak

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

CSWalczak on December 2, 2012 at 2:30 am

This webpage describes the plans for the new Cary arts complex, including an architectural drawing of the new facility showing the former Cary Theater as the right-hand part of the building. There is also a photo of the building when it was an auto parts store. There is also this drawing of what the new marquee might look like.

CSWalczak on December 2, 2012 at 2:53 am

A video about the construction project that includes some historical photos of the Cary Theater can be seen here.

raysson on December 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm

According to one of the articles about the Cary Theater from the December 2,2012 edition of the Raleigh Sunday News and Observer:

It states that the Cary Theater opened somewhere around 1941 and closed in 1960 when the theater was converted into a clothing store and later on an Auto Parts store.

oldrvah on November 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Added two additional pictures I took on 1 November. Slow but steady progress being made on the renovation.

oldrvah on February 1, 2014 at 10:50 am

I have added photos to this site since around July 2013. The latest are various photos from the theatres use as a retail business other than a theatre. Also included are some photos I mentioned having taken in Nov 2013. As of this posting, the Visual Art Cen is due to open in march.

raysson on August 5, 2015 at 10:54 am

I have found the grand opening advertisement from 1941 and will be revised for the Cinema Treasures site.

rivest266 on April 30, 2020 at 10:19 am

This opened on April 8th, 1948. Grand opening ad posted.

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