Local News

Sunrise Theater Hopes To Draw Audiences With Real Appreciation For Films

Posted June 29, 2000

— Moviegoers in Southern Pines now have a little taste of Hollywood right in their own backyards. Sunrise Theater has reopened its doors to everyone with a passion for the old movie experience.

The theater is a throwback to the old days with the movie titles on the marquee and a ticket clerk waiting to greet people. The theater hopes to capture some of that nostalgia with its audience.

"I think it's grand. I think it's really what the people need to have someplace to go," says thespian Maurice Hunter. "Going to the big theaters like the blockbusters, it's like you sit for an hour and you say, 'Ho Hum, when is the next movie coming?' With this, you can carry with them and feel a part of it."

Sunrise Theater has a long history in Southern Pines. Originally a hardware store, the theater first opened in the late 1940s showing cowboy films. After more than forty years, the theatre closed its doors in the early 1980s.

Will Redding has been working on restoring Sunrise Theater for the past two years. He says now that the theater is finally open, the real work will begin -- the work of a small theater in the big time movie business.

"We're not going to compete with them directly," Redding says. "We'll complement them because many of them still are not going to show the independent films."

Sunrise Theater plans to put all the proceeds from ticket sales towards restoring the 60-year-old theatre.

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