Sunrise Theater

250 NW Broad Street,
Southern Pines, NC 28387

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Sunrise Theater (Official)

Additional Info

Functions: Movies (Independent), Performing Arts

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The SUNRISE Theater

The historic Sunrise Theater is situated on Broad Street in Southern Pines, NC. Having already served the community in various capacities, the theater now functions as a cultural center for the community, featuring concerts, plays, movies, and other events. The building, built in 1898, began as a hardware store. In September 1941, the building became a movie theater which remained a staple of downtown Southern Pines for over 40 years.

When the movie house closed its doors permanently in the early-1980’s, the Arts Council of Moore County (ACMC) and the Sandhills Little Theater rallied enough community support to restore the building and give it a third life as the Performing Arts Center, owned and operated by ACMC.

In 1998, ACMC transferred the theater’s operation to the Sunrise Preservation Group (SPG), citizens concerned with keeping the theater alive for the community.

The theater shows nightly features, primarily dedicated to recently-released independent films.

Contributed by Neil Morris

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

kencmcintyre on August 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Here is another view of the Sunrise:

PatriciaCarol on June 25, 2010 at 8:37 pm

A newspaper article appeared in “The Sandhill Citizen” (Aberdeen, NC) on Wednesday, July 23, 1980 (page 3). Headline: Bob Dutton, Theater Man of the Sandhills. Per the article, Dutton had been with the theatre for 40 years, “…started to work with the Sunrise in 1940 has been the theater’s only manager since the theater was built, and is also manager of the Town & Country Cinema in Aberdeen.” So this indicates the Sunrise opened in 1940. Dutton remembered how the cost of a ticket was 9 cents during WWII because of the war tax on tickets over a dime, so most operators kept their admissions at 9 cents.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 26, 2010 at 4:32 am

Boxoffice of September 27, 1941, said the new Sunrise Theatre at Southern Pines had been opened the previous week. This item says the first operator of the house was W. P. Benner, who had theaters at Carthage and Hemp. Everett and Stewart are first mentioned in connection with the Sunrise in Boxoffice of December 2, 1944, in an item saying they would take over the house on Decmeber 3.

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