The Carolina Theatre of Durham is a theater in downtown Durham, North Carolina. The city owns the facility and it operates under the stewardship of a nonprofit organization named The Carolina Theatre of Durham, Incorporated.
In 1923, the city of Durham chose to construct an auditorium on a lot adjacent to Morris Street School. Bids for construction were accepted on May 1, 1925 and the $250,000 budget was set. The building was completed in 1926 and opened on February 2 of that year with the Kiwanis Jollies. The Carolina Theatre was the first theater in Durham to admit African-Americans, although there were still segregated ticket lines and lounge areas until the summer of 1963. The theater's popularity rose during the World War II years and soldiers from Camp Butner were moved to the theater to watch movies. In 1977, the North Carolina Department of Archives and History completed a historic survey of Downtown Durham and recognized The Carolina Theatre as a "significant building in the city" and the center portion of downtown was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Carolina Theatre remains the last of thirteen original theaters in the city. The most recent renovation of the theater was in 2007, which included roof repairs, restroom improvements, and electrical work. It was designed in the Beaux-Arts style by the Washington, D.C. architectural firm of Milburn & Heister. This facility is not to be confused with the Carolina Theatre of Chapel Hill, which announced its closing in 2005.
Receptions may be held at the Kirby Lobby (the area immediately in front of Fletcher Hall, facing the entrance from the street), the Connie Moses Ballroom (directly above Kirby Lobby, with access to the lower portion of the balcony), and/or the Upper Balcony Lobby (directly above the Connie Moses Ballroom, with access to the upper portion of the balcony).
Recurring events featured at the Carolina Theatre include the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the Retrofantasma film series, the Escapism Film Festival, the Nevermore film festival, and the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
- Carolina Theatre homepage
- 360 View of Fletcher Hall
- Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
- Retrofantasma Film Festival
- Nevermore Film Festival