Amuzu Theater

111 N. Howe Street,
Southport, NC 28461

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Functions: Live Theater

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Amuzu Theater

Built in 1918, the Amuzu Theater has a handsome classic facade with an upright sign proclaiming its name. It has been seen in such films as “Crimes of the Heart” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” . It was closed as a movie theatre in 1979 and was sitting dark in 2003, but reopened as live theatre.

Contributed by P.G. Weaver

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

arotan on June 15, 2004 at 3:58 pm

I have a good photo of the Amuzu from a recent trip to Southport. I’m waiting for “submit a photo” to return, and I’ll gladly post it!

mzfitsyou on August 3, 2004 at 11:12 am

I saw my first movie at the State Theater in Falls Church,VA (“Lady and the Tramp”). I took my oldest child to the State for his first movie (“Pete’s Dragon”) in 1984. It was in nasty shape at that time. I can’t tell you how delighted I am to find it returned to it’s former glory as a local night club. I have been there on several occasions since its renovation. Though my kids will not see any more movies there, they can still appreciate the wonderful craftsmanship of the theater. Now if only the Amuzu Theater in Southport could be refurbished and returned to it’s former glory! What a wonderful independent film theater it would be! And with the sophisticated Baby Boomers who keep moving into the area, it’s certain to stay afloat. Come on Mr. Owner – don’t just sit on it any more!

sdoerr on August 3, 2004 at 12:03 pm Its related but not related to it.. odd., pronounced, A- MUZ- U means to entertain you. The name AMUZU came from the AMUZU Theater in Southport, North Carolina. It is my intention to provide an internet site that you will enjoy visiting many times.

tribute1969 on August 24, 2004 at 12:59 pm

I have been to this theater! I used to work summers at The North Carolina Baptist Assembly, 1969-72, across the sound from Southport on Oak Island, NC and THE AMUZU THEATER does need to be preserved!! Wonderful town, Southport…..
Here in Nashville, TN there has been a successful drive to preserve a similar theater, THE BELCOURT THEATER in Nashville’s Hillsbourgh/Vanderbilt area through a series of fund raisers, film festivals, concerts, lectures, etc. Here’s how..

MWalker on February 22, 2005 at 12:24 am

The Amuzu Theatre has been been mainly quiet for the last 20 plus years. As mentioned above, it has been used in the filming of the movies “Crimes of the Heart” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” but it has not been opened to the public for the viewing of films.
On and encouraging note, the theater was recently reopenend on a temporary basis by it’s owner, for the upstart theatrical company Stage Two Productions, based in Southport, NC, to perform a musical version of the classic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. During the three nights of February 17, 18, and 19 and the afternoon of February the 20th, the old distinguished theatre once again took on life and was teaming with actors, musicians, technical personnel and appreciative audiances.
I am a resident of Brunswick County and was present during the performance of the Jekyll and Hyde production. It was great to see the old theatre come alive again with a sold out audiance during the four performances.
As a note for those who are interested, the theater has belonged to one family since it’s inception. The current family owner ( a Grand Son of the original owner) is trying to determine how the theatre could best be used prior to any renovation of it’s structure.

marta on June 19, 2005 at 7:02 pm

I recently visited Southport after a twenty-year absence and was thrilled to see the theatre still standing. The world has recently “discovered” Southport and the real estate prices have gone through the roof in just the last few years. There’s tremendous pressure now to tear down every old building in town and replace them with mixed-use retail centers or condos.

My parents used to come down every summer for a couple of months in the ‘60’s and '70’s. As a kid, I used to go to the Amuzu least once a week to see second-run movies (ie: “Star Wars” and “Jaws” about two months after they opened nationally)

I recall the theatre put out a little booklet that was distributed to the local restaraunts, piers, arcades, etc.. listing a week’s worth of showings at a time. We used to plan our nights around what was showing that week.

I sincerely hope whoever owns the building now is able to restore it instead of selling it to the highest bidder……..

snackdaddy on January 1, 2008 at 8:05 pm

The Amuzu is now being used by a local community theatre group, although the need for maintenance is severe. There are no dressing rooms-the actors use tents in the back yard, and there is no plumbing. There was an arrangement with a coffee shop next door to use their restrooms, but something happened so now there are port-a-potties outside during productions. It is drafty and badly lit, but it is a very very top-of-the-line experience to sit in a building that old (1908) and think about all that has happened in it. The owner is actively seeking proposals and funds to restore it.

FLJohnson on October 8, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I have fond memories of watching the great World War I movie, The Blue Max, at the Amuzu during the summer of 1966 when my family vacationed on Long Beach. I was 13. I remember then thinking how interesting the Amuzu was because of its age. It was much like the old theaters in my home town. One of those theaters is the famous Paramount Theater of Bristol, Tennessee.

Fred L Johnson
Apex, North Carolina

jgstites on August 30, 2013 at 11:21 am

The Amuzu has become more active recently, hosting variety shows as fund raisers for restoration. The theatre has air conditioning and indoor, working bathrooms now!

The first two weekends in October, the Amuzu plays host to The 39 Steps, produced by Brunswick Little Theatre. This venue is PERFECT for this show. Come out and see us :)

Franky on February 7, 2021 at 7:41 am

From 2005 and until 2013, the theater staged community theatrical productions. Since that time, each year has seen staging of 3-4 different live music productions to raise funds for renovations. Each production typically ran for 3 weekends. The spring show was thematic covering different eras; the summer show was fifties/sixties rock and roll, and the last production of the year was a Christmas show. Plans were underway in late 2019 for reconstruction of the wood building section behind the proscenium, but were halted due to the pandemic. At this point, the backstage area is walled off beyond the proscenium. Future plans are dependent on “the new normal”.

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