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The Carolina Theatre


309 W Morgan St
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: (919) 560-3030
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Google Reviews

Photo of Aislinn Smith-Cotton Aislinn Smith-Cotton
May 2, 2019 5

Went there for the India.Arie concert. Temperature was good, sound was great and great view from our balcony seats. Would definitely return for another concert.

Photo of James Wardrop James Wardrop
Jun 5, 2019 4

Quaint with an old world vibe. Indie movies and older feature films. Good ballroom with plenty of variety in the shows, including live podcast shows.

Photo of Darnell Tayleor Darnell Tayleor
Jun 10, 2019 4

Loved the friendly people that worked here. Watched my daughters dance recital here. And the performances were excellent.

Photo of David Marshall David Marshall
Jun 11, 2019 5

Beautifully restored to its 1926 build date. Lots of History here, great live world-class performances and semi reasonable prices. Great staff and service.

Photo of Tiffany Bargeman Tiffany Bargeman
May 13, 2019 5

I attended and India Arie concert here and thoroughly enjoyed it. Parking was free and easily accessible right across the street from the theater, and traffic was well controlled. We were in and out without any headaches. And the show was awesome. India Arie is a queen!We had to find food outside of the theater, so the only thing I would suggest is having at the very least hot dogs and pizza available in the theater concessions (popcorn and candy, etc. wasn't quite enough). We ended up going next door to the Marriott hotel's restaurant, and that food was very very good! We felt a bit rushed since we didn't plan to step away to eat. The information that came from the theater prior to the concert did mention restaurants choices in the area around theater, but we didn't plan ahead. All worked out though, and we had a great night.

Photo of jarrett labrecque jarrett labrecque
Apr 7, 2022 4

This is a fantastic venue!! The do stage production’s as well as retro and classic films. The employees are always friendly and helpful! My only complaint is the seats are a little small for me.( I am however, a rather large person)

Photo of Hannah Ringler Hannah Ringler
Feb 11, 2022 5

I saw Parallel Mothers here. Prices for movies are more than reasonable! The venue is clean and spacious and has rigorous COVID precautions, with multiple checks of vaccination cards, mask requirements, and plenty of space to spread out. The chairs are comfortable, and picture and sound quality are good. The bathrooms are immaculate.

Photo of Chris K (Crispy) Chris K (Crispy)
Feb 21, 2022 5

Great experience the other night. The theater and facilities are clean. Tasty concessions too. Volunteers are helpful and nice. Sound quality was good. Not a bad seat in the house. The comedian, Fortune Feimster, was hilarious!

Photo of Karen Gillison Karen Gillison
Mar 12, 2022 5

Nice theater with lots of character. Its laid out so that every seat would be a good seat. It has a convenient parking garage, and many nearby dining options

Photo of Robby battle Robby battle
Jan 24, 2022 5

This place is the coolest! They show the best movies and have the best concerts and comedians. The popcorn is top notch. Grab a black cherry soda to make the perfect combo for the silver screen. Support your local nonprofit theatre and have a great time doing it!

Photo of Brian Hammill Brian Hammill
Mar 1, 2022 5

90 year old classic theater with authentic decor. After the initial sound checks the place really sounded great. Not a terrible seat in the place. Even the back row of the second balcony had a good view and acoustics. Do beware of the ceiling of the upper balcony and the protrusion of the old projection booth as it obstructs your view slightly if you are far back in the upper balcony seats. I'd be very interested in seeing other shows in this venue.

Photo of sid wright sid wright
Mar 1, 2020 5

Love the films they bring in.. and the film festivals throughout yearEvery Friday night a double feature is awesomeness

Photo of Tina Wilkins Tina Wilkins
May 7, 2020 5

The Carolina Theatre of Durham is the crown jewel of North Carolina theatres. No other theatre shows the amazing films they do. Staff is incredible too. Well worth supporting.

Photo of Kelly Carraway Realtor Century 21 Triangle Group Kelly Carraway Realtor Century 21 Triangle Group
Mar 13, 2020 5

What a true Durham Gem. In the heart of downtown Durham since 1926, the Carolina Theatre has become one of its city’s most beloved institutions. After opening as the Durham Auditorium, the venue was renovated three years later and renamed the Carolina Theatre, a movie theater that also presented stage shows and concerts. Great parking as well

Photo of Megan Goble Megan Goble
Feb 17, 2020 5

Excellent, helpful staff and a lovely atmosphere. Multiple concession stands mean minimal waiting times for snacks, and they have a good beer selection as well! We went with a friend in a wheelchair and they had no problems accommodating our needs.

Photo of Andrew Nagler Andrew Nagler
Feb 16, 2020 5

Carolina Theatre is my single favorite place in Durham. Over the years I've been to dozens of events here, and I've never been left wanting or dissatisfied. From huge comedy acts like Dave Chappelle to indie film screenings like there yearly Nevermore Film Festival, Carolina Theatre has something for everyone if you're looking for a night out.The classy atmosphere and relaxed staff blend together to make you feel at a slightly nicer version of home. It is quite simply the best place to see a show in town. There isn't a bad seat in the venue. If you go to an event here and the refreshment line is long, go up the stairs on the far left, and there's a secondrefreshment stand not many people know about!I'm headed there tonight to see the Jay and Silent Bob reunion tour. In 2 weeks I'll be there for their yearly indie horror film festival (Nevermore). They also have a retro film series where you can see all your favorite old films on the big screen in an old school theatre atmosphere.Just go. You'll have a great time!

Photo of Maggie LaPlante Maggie LaPlante
Feb 2, 2020 5

This is a really cool historic venue. We saw The Second City comedy show and it was hilarious. The venue has good concessions and you're allowed to take them in the theatre, which is great. I just wish they could add some cup holders because there's nowhere to put your drink and shows involve clapping, which you need both hands for.

Photo of Lisa van Heerden Lisa van Heerden
Dec 23, 2019 5

My family and I came to see the Moscow Nutcracker here and we sat in the balcony. I can honestly say there is not a bad seat in the house. The ambiance is a little vintage and slightly upper class. You want to dress nice to see your shows. They serve wine and all in all it was a great, slightly more sophisticated outing for the family. Parking is ample across the street for 5 bucks. BUT they only take cash. You can park down the street slightly in a parking lot, but not the McDonald's which has towing signs. Street parking is not easily found either.

Photo of Jane Barbour Jane Barbour
Jan 18, 2020 5

Saw Travis Tritt at Carolina Theater and would definitely go there again. Parking was convenient and we were immediately greeted by every staff member we saw.... almost like they were expecting us! We sat in Orchestra and had no problem seeing the stage. Our exit from the theater was quick and in no time we were out of the parking deck and on our way thanks to traffic direction provided by the theater. Charming theater and a great overall experience!

Photo of Celeste Plummer-McHugh Celeste Plummer-McHugh
Dec 18, 2019 4

Beautiful theatre. The show felt semi-intimate however the seats were so small and close together I felt like had I been wearing a large coat I may not have fit! With that said I certainly will return

Photo of Garland Ragland Garland Ragland
Dec 12, 2019 5

What a great venue. The staff was efficient and professional and the theater itself is beautiful without a bad seat in the house. The concession staff did seem a little overwhelmed but it was a crazy night so I'll give them a break.

Photo of Andrea Martin Andrea Martin
Dec 11, 2019 5

This was a great experience in Durham! I went to see Dave Chapelle, the wait outside was a bit long, inside, the theater is reminiscent of “the good old days” the prices for concessions are VERY REASONABLE. The staff was great and the area was very nice. I will hope to see another show here.

Photo of Tim O'Sullivan Tim O'Sullivan
Oct 30, 2019 5

This is a beautiful theater for all kinds of events.The size is perfect and every seat had a great view of the stage.We saw a spoken word performance here by Henry Rollins and it was an amazing night. What's even better is there is a parking garage just across the road.

Photo of Patrick Lasseter Patrick Lasseter
Oct 6, 2019 5

Carolina Theatre is an absolute gem. An intimate place to watch a live show and a comfortable experience for seeing a movie. We are here all the time. Take advantage of limited release films and documentaries as well as throw-back events to see your old favorites on the big screen. Local beer on tap and real butter on your popcorn is something not typically offered at other locations around here. Stick around after the film to enjoy Downtown Durham!

Photo of Jessica Grossflam Jessica Grossflam
Nov 10, 2019 5

Experience was great! The wait to get inside was short, the staff were friendly and helpful as well. The concession prices are decent. Lines for the bathrooms were short. The venue and the bathrooms were clean. Parking garage is right across the street!

Photo of Anita Wuest Anita Wuest
Oct 22, 2019 5

This theatre in Durham is beautiful, and so are the people who work here! Had a wonderful time. If another band we like is playing here, we will definitely come back. Very worth the drive from Charlotte.

Photo of Buddy Priest Buddy Priest
Oct 13, 2019 5

This place is super neat. Very cool staff, and the movie selection during Halloween season is amazing and diverse. Serves beer in the concessions, it's super clean, and we just love it!

Photo of Russell Burnett Russell Burnett
Sep 15, 2019 5

Love this place! Retro Film Series is a great value and a great way to spend an evening. Also, CT has nice selection of beer and wine.

Photo of Talie Madans Talie Madans
Sep 6, 2019 5

Excellent customer service, comfortable seating and most importantly the GREATEST popcorn ever! Vegan option available or real butter with organic popcorn.A classic Durham spot to enjoy movies, concerts and more. You will not be disappointed in this gem!

Photo of Hal Lusk Hal Lusk
Oct 8, 2019 5

Beautiful vintage venue. VERY convenient that parking is right across the street because I usually dread finding spots in Durham downtown. Acoustics were great, lighting was great, staff was very kind and engaging. My only complaint was that I had a handrail in my field of view from my regular seat (Balcony 2, front row) but I moved up a row at intermission with no problem.

Photo of Michael Michael
Jul 12, 2019 5

Amazing! I went to see a movie and the building is beautiful. The lighting and clarity of the movie was the best I've ever seen. Very nice people working there as well. I'm definitely going to be a regular. Thank you for existing!

Photo of Gary Clayton Gary Clayton
Aug 10, 2019 4

Nice restored theatre in downtown area. Performance hall and two movie theatres. Have enjoyed many great concerts here. If you are on the main floor level avoid the very back - being under the overhang of the balcony can affect sound quality.

Photo of Monique Goode Monique Goode
Jul 22, 2019 4

I attended the 85 south boys comedy show. The employees there were very friendly and very attentive. The theater was very beautiful in a retro type of way. It was a sold-out show so every seat was taken. Even though it's an older building I'm a very tall woman and very curvy and honestly even though we were shoulder-to-shoulder I was comfortable. I really enjoyed my visit and the show was amazing.

Photo of Chelsea H Chelsea H
Jul 1, 2019 4

We saw Maria Bamford perform here last week and the show was great. A really cool, historic theater, but it could use a little love and restoration and something to get rid of the slightly musty smell. That said, our view was pretty good, even from the second balcony and we had a fun time.

Photo of Thornton Burnette Thornton Burnette
May 12, 2022 4

Nice, clean, venue with accommodating staff. Theatre had been lovingly restored and modernized. Seats are ok and comfortable enough. The sound can be hit or miss based on where you sit. In the center section, closer than 12 rows in, and it's diffuse, probably because there is no speaker array over the center, just right and left. A stack over the center section would greatly improve the sound. Prices for food and drink are reasonable and served with enthusiasm. Staff is still masked, although patrons have a choice, which is nice. If an artist you like has a show here, it's worth the price of admission. Solid venue.

Photo of Tim Gillow Tim Gillow
May 15, 2022 4

Overall a nice venue, easy to get to and near enough to both fancy restaurants and soul food establishments to warrant a full evening out on the town! Ticket-taking was fast and efficient, and ushers were nearby to direct patrons to seating. The first-floor lines for refreshments, and for restrooms at intermission were lengthy. Some patrons overheard others talking about additional services on the second floor (refreshments and twice as many rsstrooms) and sought those out for faster service. (Good call!!) Sound was excellent from my row C seat, but I heard from others "there's not a bad seat in the house!", and I believe it! Leonid & Friends were spectacular, and despite some shakeup in their talent availability, they delivered perfectly. Kudos to the trumpet artist and new lead singer - you both killed it!! If management had alerted us to the availability of second floor amenities, I'd be giving them a 5-star rating. My 4 rating is more like 4.7... Enjoy!

Photo of Connor Mooneyhan Connor Mooneyhan
May 18, 2022 5

What a wonderful first experience at this historic theatre! I just moved to Durham with my girlfriend last week and I had been looking forward to seeing Inland Empire on the big screen here at The Carolina Theatre. We had bought the tickets at a very reasonable price a few weeks prior, and I had high hopes, given that Inland Empire is directed by David Lynch, my favorite director, and this would be the first of his films I'd seen in a theater. Even with those expectations, The Carolina Theatre passed with flying colors. When we walked in, an attendant (well-dressed and professional, might I add) greeted us, scanned our tickets, asked what movie we were there to see and if we'd been there before, and explained carefully where the theater was and directed us to the right one. The entire building felt unique and perhaps even regal, with its sophisticated floor patterns, walls, and architecture. I certainly didn't expect many people to show up for this rerelease of a relatively obscure movie, even though Lynch is an esteemed director, but I was pleasantly shocked to find that when we entered the cinema ten minutes early, the seats were already more than half filled! We were able to find spots together, and by the time the movie began, I think every one of those (quite comfortable) seats had an eager movie-goer in it, ready to enjoy the film. The screen was a bit smaller than I was expecting, but I don't think it mattered once the film was rolling, especially with the superb sound quality that splendidly handled the film's remastered score and captured the aural essence of the film in a way I hadn't experienced before when watching it on my TV. Overall, this was an excellent experience, and I cannot recommend The Carolina Theatre highly enough. Now I'm just left eagerly awaiting our next outing here.

Photo of Buddy King Buddy King
May 13, 2022 4

Historic building that's been modernized. Parking garage across the street is handy. Very nice venue, includes snack bar shops. In a good part of The Bull City, walking distance to restaurants.

Photo of Michael Travis Michael Travis
Apr 26, 2022 5

Wonderful historic venue that pulls in a wide variety of shows. I come here for the retro movie showings and have had a great experience. My particular favorites are the Retro Film Series which are a blast and worth driving 2.5 hours! Definitely check the calendar for upcoming shows.

Photo of Iwatch Security Iwatch Security
Jun 5, 2022 5

Saw Ray Lamontagne last night and Ray was AMAZING. opening artist did great and the theater was very cool. Old time feel, great friendly staff and look forward to future events here. Would love to see liquor served here but will be back in any case!

Photo of Shaun Ridgway Shaun Ridgway
Jun 19, 2022 5

A true gem of a cinema locally. Seats are far more comfortable than any chain, popcorn, candy, and drink prices are reasonable (and there’s beer and wine!), the film selection is exactly what I’d want to watch in theaters, and parking is easy in the deck across the street. I can’t imagine wanting to see a movie anywhere else. 10/10, would recommend.

Photo of Trenton Bronson (bronsonboy511) Trenton Bronson (bronsonboy511)
Jun 27, 2022 5

Fascinating theatre that I visited while in town and went for a showing of "North by Northwest". I believe there are also live performances at this venue, but there is definitely a large variety of movies to be shown in the coming months. If I weren't only breifly in town I'd consider acquiring one of the season's passes and returning to watch a film every week or two. Tickets are around ~10 dollars and the concessions were reasonably priced in my opinion. Furthermore there is signage across the lobby and upstairs that can be toured for free and details the history of the theatre and its place within Durham's city center and how the adjoined arts council was once city hall, then a high school, and finally the modern art council. Overall a beautiful building and venue with interesting history and a good showing selection.

Photo of Jacqueline Wilson-Merrill Jacqueline Wilson-Merrill
Jun 23, 2022 5

Cozy and unique. Lots of concession areas, with pleasant offerings. The Retro movies are super entertaining and the live theater has great sound. Always a good time!

Photo of Greg Wood Greg Wood
Aug 7, 2022 5

Seen a few shows here and it is a great theatre. Beautiful place, very friendly and helpful staff, easy to get in and out. Parking is super convenient across the street and not expensive.

Photo of Hillel Dorel Hillel Dorel
Aug 11, 2022 5

Wife and I had the pleasure of seeing Chris Isaac and his band last night. What an outstanding show. What a great little venue. Looking forward to our next visit.

Photo of Denise Williams Denise Williams
Aug 21, 2022 5

My husband and I had the pleasure of going here to see our daughter Kornbread Jeté in her last show and this was a beautiful place and the performances by everyone was Amazing! We met wonderful people here as well!! Definitely a Night to celebrate always!!

Photo of Ava Redding Ava Redding
Feb 18, 2022 5

A really great place to see a concert. We went to see Kenny Wayne shepherd it was a really good show. Please remember do not take pictures..... The picture police are kind of creepy. I got a few pictures but I have PTSD and the way the picture police approached me kind of got to me.

Photo of Peter Spung Peter Spung
May 16, 2022 5

Love this venue! Having seen a comedian and light opera from the main floor, and most recently a Chicago/EW&F tribute band from the balconey, I can't wait to go back. Love the location and Durham too. We strolled and hit bars and restaurants before and after, from the American Tobacco campus up to Durham Central Park.