Carolina Theatre partners with the Museum of Durham History for “Stranger Times” exhibit

September 13, 2023 by Sandy Lerebours

Exhibit-goers can expand their visit by watching 80s and 90s films at the theater 

DURHAM, September 13, 2023 — The Carolina Theatre of Durham partners with the Museum of Durham History for its new exhibit, “Stranger Times.”  

The “Stranger Times” exhibit uses the idea of the “Upside-Down” from the Emmy-nominated Netflix series “Stranger Things” as an analogy for the experience of life and coming of age during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. As the show centers on teens dealing with unusual happenings in their town, the museum will highlight the reflections of Durham teen experiences with COVID-19 and the associated stay-at-home order that turned their world “upside down.”  

“Stranger Times” also explores the childhood of the show’s creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, 2002 graduates of Jordan High School, and how their upbringing in the Bull City in the late 80s and 90s influenced their creative choices in developing “Stranger Things.” The show recounts the adventures of a gang of young teenagers in a 1980s town much like Durham.    

In order to add cultural context and expand attendees’ exhibit experience, the museum has partnered with the Carolina Theatre to give away tickets to upcoming screenings of 80s and 90s films at the theater. The films include “Labyrinth,” “Jumanji,” “Aliens,” “Batman,” “Who Framed Rodger Rabbit,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and more. 

“The eerie, “upside-down” world these kids discover is similar, in many ways, to the world teens found themselves facing just a few years ago,” said exhibit curator, Michelle Needham, the Museum’s Director of Education Programs and Exhibits. “The show’s characters must navigate an alternate reality, just as Durham teens had to adapt to the “new normal” of masks, online learning, and limited contact with friends, all while under the threat of a frightening disease. This exhibit gives students a chance to share their stories through artwork, podcasts, videos, and the written word, and it gives visitors a chance to experience this time in history through our children’s eyes and voices.”   

To learn more about the exhibit and to see updates on events and programming, please visit For more information about films screened at the Carolina Theatre as part of the partnership with the Museum of Durham History, please visit 




About the Museum of Durham History (MoDH)   

Founded in 2013, the Museum of Durham History is an emerging and innovative 21st-century museum that uses stories about people, places and things to foster curiosity, encourage further exploration and promote an understanding of diverse perspectives about the Durham community and its history. The museum is located at 500 W. Main St., in the heart of Durham’s vibrant downtown. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday 12pm to 5pm. For more information, see   


About The Carolina Theatre of Durham: 

Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which manages the city-owned Carolina Theatre at 309 W. Morgan Street, Durham, NC 27701. Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc. is dedicated to presenting vibrant, thought-provoking film and live performances that contribute to the cultural and economic vitality of downtown Durham and the Triangle Region. More information at 


Contact: Jordan Hewitt Beard
Senior Director of Marketing, Carolina Theatre of Durham
(919) 560-3040 |