Originally opened in 1926 as the Durham Auditorium, The Carolina Theatre is one of Durham’s most historic performing arts venues. Friday, October 1, marks the kick-off of their 16th season billed as the “2010-2011 Star Series.”
“This is one of the biggest and broadest seasons ever,” states The Carolina Theatre’s President and CEO, Bob Nocek.
Acts include Mike Birbiglia (November 6), Betty Buckley – Broadway by Request (November 20), The Max Weinberg Big Band (February 4), Harlem Gospel Choir (February 12) and Cirque Mechanics Boom Town (February 15,16). The Star Series runs through May 14. Click here to see all the performers in the Star Series and to get ticket information.
The performers in the Star Series will take the stage in Fletcher Hall, but the theater has a variety of different venues to feature both on stage performances and movies, as well as space for meetings and receptions.
Fletcher Hall, the 1,016 seat main auditorium, was restored to its 1926 décor in the mid-1990s, and is the only downtown building designed in the Beaux Arts style. The 30-foot by 64-foot stage has stage-level dressing rooms that can accommodate 54 performers and the backstage walls have been signed by the likes of Alison Krauss, Herbie Hancock, Tony Randall, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, as well as others.
The two cinemas, one seating 276 people and the other seating 76 people, operate year-round. The Chaplin Retrospective which begins tonight is representative of the types of new and innovative film programming initiated to complement the more tradition “art house” cinema programming. Carolina Theatre is also well known as a venue for film festivals hosting the NC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Escapism Film Festival, Nevermore Film Festival and Retrofantasma Film Series, to name a few.
The final three venues in the theater provide great space for meetings and receptions of all types. The Connie Moses Ballroom features tall windows and grand chandeliers for formal events; while, the Upper Balcony Lobby with subdued lighting is a peaceful space for special events. The Kirby Lobby, located at the main entrance to the theater, is also another great space for personal or corporate events.
The Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc., which is the non-profit organization managing the city-owned Carolina Theatre, epitomizes many of Durham’s core strengths including creativity and enrichment, as well as being open, welcoming and genuine. They are an important piece of the fabric of Durham where presenting authentic, indigenous cultural experiences are as valued as saving historic architecture.
As one of Durham’s 12 performance halls, The Carolina Theatre offers great entertainment, a historic atmosphere, and unique space for any group.