Entertainment

Cary's first indoor movie theater to reopen downtown

Posted December 1, 2012

The Town of Cary broke ground Saturday on an 18-month renovation project to reopen the town's first indoor movie theater.
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— The Town of Cary broke ground Saturday on a renovation project to reopen the town's first indoor movie theater.

The 7,000-square-foot downtown building, at 122 E. Chatham St., has been home to a clothing store, auto parts shop and recording studio since The Cary theater closed in the late 1950s. 

"This is an important piece of Cary's past and we're bringing it to the future," said Mayor Harold Weinbrecht. 

Betty Ann Chandler Atkins remembers when her father, Paul Chandler, built The Cary in the late 1940s. She said it was a childhood playground for her and her siblings.

"It seems smaller to me (now) than it did when I was a child," Atkins said.

Now, a new generation of the Chandler family will be able to enjoy the theater.

The Cary movie theater Cary's first movie theater to reopen downtown

"I got to bring my grandchildren (to the groundbreaking) today, and they saw what their great-granddaddy did," Atkins said. "They didn't know him at all. My children didn't know him."

In July 2011, the town purchased the property and began working on plans to expand it into a multi-use cultural facility. The theater's original doors and seats will be incorporated into a historical display and a three-story support building will be built adjacent to the theater for commercial and community use.

"It's going to reinvent, re-energize and revitalize downtown," Weinbrecht said. "It's going to be an exciting place to be, a destination point."

The theater is scheduled to open by the end of 2013. 

30 Comments

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  • me2you Dec 5, 12:33 p.m.

    This is cool. If they can make it look really nice, could be a great success. If you've ever been to Byrd theatre in Richmond VA, it's beautiful and successful.

  • GravyPig Dec 3, 5:10 p.m.

    "There is no downtown in Cary or Raleigh. If you really want to see how a downtown works and looks go to Apex."

    Ok, I can see why you would think Cary doesn't have a downtown. It is small. But Raleigh doesn't have a downtown? What? What do you propose we call that big area of old buildings with the capital and the governors mansion?

    "Wish they would build a convention center like Raleigh or an entertainment center like RR."

    There is no room for, much less a need for a convention center in Apex. An entertainment center? They've done nothing but lose money on the one RR built.

    "Government should stay out of private enterprise. Wonder if they have considered where people would park --that is if they have anyone interesed."

    There is parking in downtown Cary. Not a lot, but enough for one tiny theatre.

  • GravyPig Dec 3, 4:58 p.m.

    "You only disparage Cary because you are secretly love Downtown Cary but are too afraid to admit it. " Gravy

    You busted me."

    See? The truth will set you free!!!! Come on down tonight and we'll sing Kumbaya by the Town tree. Betcha Apex doesn't have an awesome tree like Cary. ;)

  • piene2 Dec 3, 3:27 p.m.

    I wish they would bring back drive in theaters. Not only were they a lot of fun but they were very useful navigation aids. I had my Tri-pacer at a small airport that was hard to find in the dark but there was a drive in theater close to it and I always steered for that.

  • wu Dec 3, 2:34 p.m.

    I love downtown Apex! Cary will never come close to it!

  • ugotme Dec 3, 12:13 p.m.

    It better be an IMAX theatre, or it won't last very long!

  • LuvLivingInCary Dec 3, 11:51 a.m.

    last time i just tried to go through downtown apex it took a few minutes to go one block. people have to back in parallel parking and traffic waits on that. if you can't find parking on the street you can forget it and expect to park in the boonies blocks away from where you are going.

  • Nope Dec 3, 11:51 a.m.

    "Well, don't blink if you do... you will probably miss it!"

    How does that differ from Apex's one-block "downtown"

  • superman Dec 3, 11:15 a.m.

    There is no downtown in Cary or Raleigh. If you really want to see how a downtown works and looks go to Apex. Wish they would build a convention center like Raleigh or an entertainment center like RR. Government should stay out of private enterprise. Wonder if they have considered where people would park --that is if they have anyone interesed.

  • immaannoid Dec 3, 11:14 a.m.

    "You only disparage Cary because you are secretly love Downtown Cary but are too afraid to admit it. " Gravy

    You busted me.

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