Carolina Theatre

226 N. Tryon Street,
Charlotte, NC 28202

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Carolina Theatre

Opened on March 7, 1927, the Carolina Theatre is located in the heart of downtown Charlotte. It was built for and operated by Publix. In the 1940’s in was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary H.F. Kincey.

Despite a successful multi-decade run, including a period as a Cinerama theatre, the Carolina Theatre closed on November 27, 1978, and was damaged by arson in the 1980’s. Many decorative elements of the original interior were removed, but others remain including the (badly damaged) murals. The lobby and entrance portion of the building was demolished recently, but the space from the auditorium to the street was very recently turned into a beautiful mini-park. The building is structurally sound, the exterior has been repaired and repainted.

In April 2013, the city of Charlotte sold the Carolina Theatre for $1.00 to the Foundation for the Carolinas which intends to restore it as a performing arts and community center seating between 1,000 and 1,200. This project, estimated to cost $51,500,000, benefited from a $5,000,000 pledge from the Bank of America on January 28, 2014, to kick-start its fundraising campaign for the restoration. In 2018 Barings Bank gifted $500,000 which completed the $51.5 million required for the renovations. Construction has begun in renovating the Carolina Theatre with a planned 2020 reopening. A 32-story Intercontinental Hotel will be built on top of the theatre and the new project will be named Belk Place in honor of the Belk family.

Contributed by Ross Melnick, Dave Litterer

Recent comments (view all 178 comments)

Patsy
Patsy on June 20, 2020 at 9:07 am

https://carolinatheatreclt.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Spring-2020-newsletter.pdf

Patsy
Patsy on June 20, 2020 at 9:13 am

Sorry if the link I just posted is not in blue to simply tap on it. It is worth reading. Can’t tell you how pleased I am to see this theatre finally being restored in downtown Charlotte! When I moved to Charlotte in 2003 I knew that it had been quite the theatre in its heyday and that it was worth saving. Thank goodness it was never demolished then and is now being restored for future generations. There were many Carolina Theatres throughout NC and many are listed as closed. Such a shame. I haven’t posted on CT for quite awhile though feel it is time to start posting again on a site that is close to my heart. Thank you Ross for creating CT for all of us theatre buffs. Btw, I hope to have a theatre exhibit in September in remembrance of my hometown theatre, the Grand in Westfield NY though COVID may require changes in the plan. The Grand is listed on CT. Check it out.

ghamilton
ghamilton on June 22, 2020 at 12:14 pm

It has been a long time since I posted anything,also,Patsy. That this project is going forward,will be a great asset to Charlotte .

Patsy
Patsy on June 22, 2020 at 12:43 pm

A great asset and a very long time coming.

spectrum
spectrum on November 9, 2020 at 3:58 pm

Another update - their Fall 2020 newsletter. Construction continues, on many fronts including lobby tower, stagehouse infrastructure and more.

https://app.yearly.report/preview/?rid=-MK0E51JPFy_kz7d8PPj&uid=bFiVrfkv8fZNMtapVtY0Kbr6zkp1

ncmark
ncmark on February 9, 2021 at 4:51 am

Work continues on the theater but hotel construction has been put on hold. Not canceled but delayed indefinitely due to Pandemic uncertainties. Most recent estimates for the theater completion is fall of 2022.

ncmark
ncmark on April 8, 2021 at 5:14 pm

Today’s Charlotte Observer reports that construction on the theater continues despite the hotel tower being put on hold indefinitely. The steel framework is completed for the first few floors that will hold the lobby and administrative offices. Completion is expected in late 2022. Picture added of the framework as of April 2021.

Patsy
Patsy on April 8, 2021 at 6:20 pm

Thank you ncmark. Hope to see photos. My email is

thom5340
thom5340 on May 4, 2021 at 1:43 pm

Hi, Patsy and other members. I emailed the powers that be and offered the gift of a Barton Theatre Organ for the restoration. I was told that the renovation plans do not include the re-installation of a pipe organ. As I understand, the Theatre originally had a Barton. If anyone has any questions they can contact me directly.

spectrum
spectrum on October 20, 2021 at 12:44 pm

Link to their Spring 2021 newsletter:

https://carolinatheatreclt.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Spring-2021-newsletter.pdf

Highlights: Construction continuing, primarily on electrical, HVAC, etc. and continued excavation of the basement into the crawlspace. The roof will be removed and replaced over the summer of 2021 (So it’s probably done by now).

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