Carolina Theatre

Carolina Theatre through the years
1927: Halloween Night marks the opening of the 2,200-seat vaudeville theatre. Part of the Keith Vaudeville chain, early programs feature live performing acts, the Carolina Theatre Orchestra, the Carolina News Newsreel, an audience sing-along and silent films accompanied by the Robert Morgan theatre pipe organ. It is the most monumental structure of its type ever built in Greensboro.
1928: Vitaphone sound speakers are installed and the Carolina Theatre transitions to a premiere movie theatre.
1952: Circle K Club begins weekly Saturday entertainment for local children. Generations of Greensboro residents grow up attending the theatre every week until 1965.
1963: The theatre ends practice of segregated seating.
1970: Downtown Greensboro and the Carolina Theatre begin to decline as suburban retail businesses and small movie theatres attract citizens away from city activity.
1976: The United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro, with community support, raises $550,000 to save the fading theater from demolition.
1977: The United Arts Council purchases the Carolina Theatre and begins renovation.
1978: Theatre reopens as a community performing arts center.
1980: The Carolina Theatre presents “A Christmas Carol,” produced by the N.C. Shakespeare Festival.
1981: The Carolina Theatre closes for repairs and restoration following a major fire.
1982: The refurbished Carolina Theatre reopens in September with a performance by Ben Vereen.
1983: A new sound system is installed .
1984: The Carolina Theatre receives its first allocation from the Arts Fund as a newly funded member of the United Arts Council. Carolina SRO, a support group for the Carolina Theatre, is organized with funding from NCNB.
1985: A historical architectural study is commissioned for the Carolina Theatre. Theatre Consultants Inc. is hired to develop renovation plans.
1987: The United Arts Council launches the Renaissance Campaign, a $5 million capital fundraising campaign, to help expand and renovate the Greensboro Arts Center and restore the Carolina Theatre to its original grandeur.
1988-1989: Renovation and expansion of the Carolina Theatre begins.
1990: The Carolina Theatre’s renovation is completed with
$3 million in capital improvements and becomes available for receptions, meetings and performing arts events.
1991: The theater reopens in January with refurbished dressing rooms, new sound and light equipment, a large second-floor banquet room (The Renaissance Room), new restrooms, modern concessions and office space. Larger seats and a new sound booth bring seating capacity to 1,075.
1993: The Carolina Theatre installs a new marquee.
1994: Restoration begins on the Carolina Theatre’s historic Robert Morton pipe organ.
1999: The Robert Morton pipe organ restoration is completed as a volunteer project of the Piedmont Theatre Organ Society.
2003: The United Arts Council initiates transition of the Carolina Theatre to operate independently.
Carolina Theatre Building, LLC, is created as sole owner of the theatre building.
Carolina Theatre of Greensboro Inc. is created as a new entity to govern the theater.
2006: The United Arts Council passes the deed to Carolina Theatre of Greensboro, granting its independence, on March 1, 2006.
2007: The Carolina Theatre begins its 80th Season.
2008: The historic Carolina Theatre names Keith Holliday, former Greensboro mayor and longtime Carolina Theatre supporter, president and CEO on April 2, 2008.

— Courtesy of
The Carolina Theatre

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