Foundation For The Carolinas exec gives inside view of Carolina Theatre remake

·1 min read

Wood, ladders, piles of equipment and other materials fill most of what will soon be the airy, glass-enclosed lobby to the revived historic Carolina Theatre on North Tryon Street.

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On a recent afternoon, Laura Smith, interim president and CEO at the Foundation For The Carolinas, the organization behind the combined restoration-construction makeover, led a CBJ reporter on a 30-minute tour of the site. While much work remains — obvious to-do items include finished walls and floors as well as seating — the project is taking shape, particularly along the ceilings and upper reaches of the walls, where the ornate refurbished and replicated molding, column caps, tiles and other elements are being installed and painted.

The theater opened in 1927 and closed in 1978. For most of the subsequent 45 years, the theater further deteriorated from neglect.

Now, after five years of wrestling with difficult site conditions and fragile source material, the Carolina Theatre is beginning to look like it will be transformed into the civic hub promised by the foundation when the city sold the theater for $1 in 2012.

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