Connie Moses: The Carolina Theatre’s Volunteer “Shepherd”

April 22, 2024 by Sandy Lerebours

During National Volunteer Month, we spoke to Connie Moses’ elder daughter, Mollie Moses about how Connie was able to galvanize volunteers from the community to restore the Carolina Theatre after it had fallen into disrepair.

CTD: How did your mom rally volunteers to help with the renovation process?

MM: Connie was, and always has been, a very persuasive “shepherd” of people. She had an army of friends with all kinds of connections — business, design, trades, supplies, publicity, etc. — even though she was no churchgoer or a member of any of the women’s clubs that were rampant in the 60s and 70s. She could persuade just about anyone to do just about anything, especially when the request was gilded with promises of dinner at the house and a conversation with refreshments out by the pool.

CTD: How do you think your mom’s legacy lives on at the Carolina Theatre?

MM: Without the hard work of Connie and her army of volunteers, there would have been no second balcony and Star Lounge. She was a big fan of the nonprofit ethic of “use what you have and what people can donate, and for Heaven’s sake, don’t spend ANY money unless it’s absolutely necessary.” That’s why the original frames, older small mirrors, poster stands, and the ticket stand (located up in the cinemas) are still in use today. I’m told that her ghost sings in the ballroom very late at night.

CTD: Is there anything else you’d like to include?

MM: Connie would not have gotten half of the things done that she did without the constant support and help of her husband, Monte, who loved her more than life itself. She also had miles of advice from other women such as Pepper Fluke, St. Clair Williams, Hildegarde Ryals, Sheila Pratt, Betty Pittard, Susan Broili, Barbara Birkhead, Betty Hodges, Ethel (Mrs. Nello) Teer, Jerry Gentry, Margaret Haywood, Lilian Finkel, Linda Coffeen, and many others.

To learn more about the volunteers who helped restore the Carolina Theatre, visit our “Restoring Hope” exhibit, open to the public Monday-Friday from 10:30 am-5:30 pm. Learn more.