The Story of the Carolina
Originally built in 1927, the Carolina Theatre in uptown Charlotte is being lovingly restored to its original splendor and will soon serve as a dynamic civic hub.
The Carolina Theatre closed in 1978, but it was never forgotten. The Carolina Theatre held special memories for thousands who attended events during her prime; and for others it represented a piece of architectural history too important to tear down. For 40 years, political leaders like former Councilwoman Patsy Kinsey, organizations like the Carolina Theatre Preservation Society and community activists like Charlie Clayton, Lisa Lee Morgan, Sally Van Allen, and John Apple pursued development options for the Theatre. Their efforts to raise awareness of the theatre and its historical significance to the community ensured that the theatre would not be torn down and preserved the opportunity for future restoration.
In Spring of 2012, Foundation For The Carolinas approached the City of Charlotte requesting that the Carolina Theatre be gifted to the Foundation. FFTC felt it was uniquely positioned to lead the development of the Carolina Theatre property. As the adjacent neighbor/property owner, the Foundation had a vested interest in the site and sought to ensure that the property was a compliment to the surrounding neighborhood, a landmark for Tryon Street and a strong civic and entertainment destination for Charlotte’s Uptown.
As a nonprofit, the Foundation had no market-driven financial requirements for the Theatre’s development. It had the opportunity to leverage the airspace above the Theatre for development, and had the ability to bring philanthropy to the table to accomplish the renovation. The Foundation was awarded the Carolina Theatre and its associated land in 2013 by the City of Charlotte. With this gift, the Foundation announced a $51.5 million capital campaign to launch the formal rebirth of the Carolina Theatre. As of today, the campaign has increased to over $78 million.
Carolina Theatre’s primary focus will be civic uses such as lectures, town hall gatherings, annual meetings, symposiums, and panel discussions, with secondary uses to include film, arts and entertainment. The space will serve as an extension to the conference space in the Foundation’s headquarters and provide the Foundation with an additional offering for its public, private and nonprofit clients.
Captivate audiences. Elevate conversation. Inspire action.
To become the community’s most beloved theatre – a place everyone goes to talk, laugh, think and connect.