3500 E. Independence Boulevard,
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Architects: Charles R. Wheatley
Styles: Streamline Moderne
News About This Theater
- Dec 18, 2008 — Remembering Cinerama (Part 16: Charlotte)
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’ on March 7, 1975, when a second building was constructed that had 400 seats. On November 20, 1981, 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 it was closed in 1996.
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