The Capri Theatre opened on October 16, 1964, with 995 seats. A contest was held where local residents submitted potential names over the summer. The opening film was Polly Bergan “Kisses For my President.” It was a single screen theatre owned and was operated by Charlotte based Stewart and Everett Theatres. The theatre itself was a real showplace and it was the second moviehouse to open that year (the other was the Park Terrace Theatre which opened in May). It was also the second cinema along Independence Boulevard (the other was the Charlottetown I & II, owned and operated by General Cinema, which opened in 1963 as one of the first twin theatres to be established in North Carolina).
Article highlighting the winners of the naming contest. The Charlotte News, June 27, 1964.
Capri Theater. From the files of Edward Marks (1925-1998).
The Capri Theatre became the first to show premiere engagements, that were exclusive to North Carolina. The Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn musical “My Fair Lady” had its North Carolina Premiere engagement here in 1964 where it played to capacity crowds during its exclusive roadshow run. Other N.C. Premiere’s that played the Capri Theatre were “Thoroughly Modern Millie” in 1967, as well as the documentary feature “Stockcar” in 1967 when it was still a single screen theatre.
The theatre was ‘twinned’ on March 7, 1975, when a second building was constructed that had 400 seats. On November 20, 1981, the original auditorium was split into two screens down the centre, making it a triple screen operation, with a total seating capacity for 1,286. By 1986, the theatre was acquired by Carmike Cinemas, and it was closed in 1996.
Blurb on the Opening of the Capri Theatre from the Charlotte Observer October 16th, 1964.
To read more about other historic Charlotte theaters, click here.
Until next week!
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Information taken from:
CinemaTreasures.org, "Capri Theater." By Raymond Murray.
“We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” – Frederick Douglass