Carolina Theatre of Durham To Reopen For Film Screenings October 9

October 2, 2020 by Joe Student

Reopening Carolina Theatre

(DURHAM, NC — October 2, 2020) — It’s been nearly seven months since movie fans of the Triangle could come to the Carolina Theatre of Durham for the very best in repertory and independent film. That’s about to change. The Carolina Theatre  will reopen for film screenings on Friday, October 9, leading with seasonal favorite “Hocus Pocus” and the new Sofia Coppola-directed comedy-drama “On the Rocks” starring Bill Murray and Rashida Jones.

Throughout the rest of October, Carolina Theatre’s Retro Film Series will bring several additional classics back to its big screens, with “Clue,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Aliens,” “The Princess Bride,” “Labyrinth,” “Dune,” “The Big Lebowski” and “Blade Runner” all scheduled for multiple screenings. The venue will further tap into the spooky spirt of the season with A ROCKY HORROR “Socially-Distanced” PICTURE SHOW on October 23 and 24. Additional bookings will be announced.

Limited tickets for all of these films will go on sale on Monday, October 5 at 10 a.m. through the venue’s website,, and The nonprofit that operates the city-owned venue will also continue to program virtual film. A full list of film programming is available at

Observing the North Carolina public health guidelines for Phase 3 of the re-opening established on Wednesday by Governor Roy Cooper and co-signed by city and county officials in Durham on Thursday, the venue’s historic 1,000-seat Fletcher Hall will welcome no more than 100 guests per screening. The venue has set a limit of 50 guests in 226-seat Cinema One.

The Carolina Theatre will not program any films in Cinema Two. That intimate 49-seat movie house will be available only for private film screenings at a cost of $250 (maximum capacity of 12 guests). The rental fee includes a complimentary popcorn and soft drink for each guest. The cinema can accommodate only one screening per day.

Anyone leaving their home during the pandemic assumes a level of risk of exposure to Covid-19. All guests and staff of the Carolina Theatre of Durham must follow all public health guidelines currently in place, including:

  • exiting and entering through the designated walkways and doors
  • wearing face coverings unless eating and drinking
  • maintaining a physical distance of six feet from others
  • washing hands and using hand sanitizer often to avoid any potential contamination
  • staying home if someone doesn’t feel well. (Refunds will be available for guests that have any symptoms or have been in contact with someone sick.)

Carolina Theatre staff will monitor guests’ compliance with existing public health recommendations and venue policies. Venue staff will ask anyone not following these recommendations to leave.

The venue has taken additional safety steps as part of standard operating procedures:

  • placed limited capacities on restrooms
  • marked designated spots on floors to help guests conceptualize proper distance
  • conducted employee screenings and temperature checks
  • installed plexiglass guards at concession stands
  • added a disinfecting deep cleaning regimen

The Carolina Theatre has weathered nearly a century of changing conditions to remain in heart of Durham since 1926. It looks forward to welcoming guests back starting October 9.