Carolina Theatre Launches 90th Anniversary Campaign

August 31, 2016 by Carolina Theatre

City Match Sparks Carolina Theatre Fundraising Campaign

Silent Phase of Matching Campaign Brings in More Than $400,000 in Private Donations

Celebrating its 90th year in the heart of downtown Durham, the Carolina Theatre announced today that it has launched a 90-day fundraising initiative to finish raising the remainder of $600,000 in matching funds approved by the City of Durham earlier this year.

Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc., the nonprofit that operates the city-owned venue, recently concluded the silent phase of the Matching Campaign approved by the City Council in June. The nonprofit has already raised more than 70 percent of the funds required to meet the City matching funds.

“It’s clear that the community is rallying around the Carolina Theatre,” Theatre Director of Major Gifts Steve Bishop, said. “We’ve raised about $430,000 in private donations.”

The influx of cash, combined with a new business model, has already dramatically reduced the Theatre’s deficit from just over $1.3 million at the end of December to about $450,000. Thus far, the campaign has focused on major gifts from private foundations, corporations, board members and longtime donors.

With today’s announcement, the nonprofit is unveiling a crowdfunding component on its website to attract a wider donor base and raise the final $170,000 needed to complete the Campaign by Thanksgiving.

“This is an invitation to the community to help. You’ve supported our nonprofit so loyally for many years. Now is the moment; if you love the Carolina Theatre, please go to our website [] and check out the Support section to find out how you can donate to the campaign,” Theatre Director of Development Treat Harvey, said. “No gift is too small. We’re grateful for everyone’s support.”

Supporters can choose from six tiers of giving, each with a corresponding acknowledgement — including personalized engraved plaques affixed to a funder’s seat of choice in Fletcher Hall.

Carolina Theatre City Match/90th Anniversary Campaign Incentives

$25 Carolina Theatre Window Cling
Support the Carolina Theatre and receive a stylish window cling.

$90 Carolina Theatre Pint Glass
Enjoy your next beverage in this limited-edition Carolina Theatre pint glass. For a $90 donation, you can be reminded of your love of the arts every time you imbibe.

$250 Carolina Theatre Long-Sleeve T-Shirt
Wear your support of the Carolina Theatre proudly in a long-sleeve t-shirt.

$500 Carolina Theatre 10-Pass
Nothing could be finer than movies at the Carolina! You’ll receive admission to 10 films of your choice at the Carolina Theatre Cinemas with your $500 donation. Admissions eligible for first-run films, Retro and CTD-produced festivals only.

$1,500 Private Film Screening for 50
Let’s all go to the movies! With a $1,500 donation, you earn the right to a private film screening in our Cinema 2 for you and 49 guests.* We’ll throw in free popcorn and soda.
* Screening must occur Monday through Thursday from March through December. Donors must supply their own Blu Ray. No Disney or Star Wars-saga films allowed. Screening may not be advertised or used as a fundraiser.

$2,500 Save A Carolina Theatre Seat
Save your seat at the Carolina Theatre! In exchange for your $2,500 donation, we’ll place a personalized engraved plaque on the seat of your choice in Fletcher Hall. (Limited to 90 seats.)

The last remaining of Durham’s original theaters, the Carolina Theatre has been a cultural touchstone for the arts-loving people of the region for almost a century.

“It’s gratifying to see an organization begin to realize its potential, but this turnaround is particularly meaningful because it’s been a true public/private partnership,” Theatre Interim President & CEO Dan Berman, said. “The outpouring of community support has inspired the Theatre’s dedicated staff to reconnect with the spirit and passion of the small group of volunteers who saved this iconic building for all of us when it was scheduled for demolition forty years ago.”

“This year the Theatre will provide more than 13,000 Arts Discovery tickets to Durham Public School students free of charge, and we’re incredibly excited about introducing the Carolina’s next generation of patrons to performing arts and to the community treasure that belongs to them.”