Skip to main content

Lights, Camera, Lumberton | By Venita Jenkins

06/01/2010 11:02AM, Published by Anonymous, Categories:



LUMBERTON – Sarah Britt remembers going to the Carolina Theatre as a child. Back then, movies were a dime, and parents didn’t worry about their children as they finished the Saturday morning shopping. “It was great,” she said. “They showed silent pictures while someone played the organ. Then talking pictures came along. The theater stayed the same up through the years until it was forced to close briefly because some of the merchants surrounding it protested the R-rated movies being shown.” As times changed, so did the theater. It stopped showing movies and became a spot for theatrical performances. Even the name changed. So when the center began showing movies again last fall, Britt was among the many in line to buy a ticket. She recently attended a showing of “Gone with the Wind.” “It was absolutely gorgeous,” Britt said. “It really took me back in time.” Civic center officials spent more than $1.5 million returning the theater to its heyday, said Richard Sceiford, director of the civic center foundation. That includes a $20,000 digital projector, Bose sound system and a 25-by-13 screen to fit the stage.  The civic center has even brought organ music back to the theater. Stored under the stage on a hydraulic lift, the organ is controlled by a computer telling it which songs to play as patrons wait for the show to begin. Center officials hope to one day show silent films, once again accompanied by organ music. “These are the kinds of films that aren’t being shown in theaters anymore,” Sceiford said. “These films are designed to be seen on the big screen. What we are doing is adding the experience of seeing it in a historical theater. This just complements our live performances and all the other programs. We are branding it as a unique experience for our patrons. People are hearing about it and are definitely coming in from other places to watch these classic films. They are loving it.” The theater opened in 1928 as a silent-film and vaudeville house. The Carolina Theatre closed its doors for business in 1975 when people sought their shopping and entertainment elsewhere. A group of residents banded together to save the theater from being demolished and replaced with a parking lot. They lobbied for a place on the National Register of Historic Places. The historic theater reopened on June 18, 1985, as the Carolina Civic Center. Now, the multi-million dollar renovation project and the addition of the film series is meant to drive economic development and draw people downtown, Sceiford said. “Many of our patrons are being reintroduced to these classic movies, to the theater and, hopefully, to downtown,” he said. “Our goal is to be an economic development engine.” The civic center sits in the heart of downtown Lumberton which has recently undergone a serious sprucing up. The city just wrapped up a spring movie series on downtown’s center plaza and is planning to launch its annual Alive After Five concert series. The nearby children’s museum, Exploration Station, even offers babysitting on certain Friday evenings to parents who might want to catch a movie without kids in tow. But there are plenty of offerings for children, too. The theater has made a Lumberton Christmas tradition even better by offering a free showing of the “Polar Express” immediately following the city’s annual tree lighting ceremony, complete with train rides and cups of free hot chocolate. The theater is broadening its appeal by offering more than just movies. When it reopened following the renovations, officials marketed the civic center as a place for “diverse, world-class entertainment that promotes the arts to the regional community.’ Officials recently added local artwork in addition to the center’s live performances and classic movies. Future plans include showing original productions starring theater troupes from around the state. “It is really an efficient and an inexpensive way to bring quality theater here from somewhere else,” Sceiford said. This month, the theater will open a series similar to “A Prairie Home Companion.” The idea is to showcase the cultural treasures of the region in “Cruising the Coastal Carolinas,” starting on June 26. “It will be a talent showcase featuring performers who are the cultural treasures of the seven counties in the region,” Sceiford said. “It will be very diverse.” Sarah Britt loves the new direction of today’s theater and civic center. “People are really turning out to see the classic movies and live entertainment at the theater,” she said. “The content at the theater appeals to a lot of different people.”


latest news and events


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/19/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/20/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    01/20/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/20/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Tai Chi for Health

    01/24/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/19/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/20/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    01/20/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/20/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Yoga for Runners

    01/21/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Join The Runners Spot & Clare from Clarityoga for a yoga clinic for runners on January 21st at 9:...


  • Be a part of Fayetteville’s newest premier event, Fayetteville’s Ultimate Lip Sync Showdown, to b...


  • Exploring Vegan Options Food Education Event

    01/21/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Join local vegan chef, Ameen Brooks, for this introductory workshop on veganism! This is the perf...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    01/21/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/21/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Be a part of Fayetteville’s newest premier event, Fayetteville’s Ultimate Lip Sync Showdown, to b...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/22/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Hot Chocolate 4 Miler

    01/22/2017
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    Who doesn't love a hot cup of cocoa on those cold winter days? We sure do! Join The Runners Spot ...


  • The HappyFeet League is on weekends. It is offered to children ages 2-6 years old. Each game ...


  • Tai Chi for Health

    01/24/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


  • Slimming Event: Chance to Win!

    01/26/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Get your girlfriends together for this fun and informative event and a chance to win a FREE sessi...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/26/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Hang Out Thursdays & Social Ballroom Dance

    01/26/2017
    07:00PM — 11:00PM

    Come join the fun every 4th Thursday of the month! Hang Out Thursdays & Social Ballroom Dance V...


  • The Museum of the Cape Fear will sponsor the 16th Annual Civil War Quiz Bowl. Contestants will te...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Handel: Water Music

    01/26/2017
    07:30PM

    Thursday, January 26th, 2017 | 7:30pm St. John’s Episcopal Church 302 Green St., Fayetteville, ...


  • 5th Annual Evening of Excellence & Expo

    01/27/2017
    12:00PM — 08:00PM

    You are cordially invited to the biggest beauty & aesthetics event in North Carolina!  View the e...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/27/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/27/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Birthday Dance & Potluck

    01/27/2017
    09:00PM — 01:00AM

    Celebrate your birthday month with others every 4th Friday of the month! Birthday dance & potluc...


  • CountrySide's All American Dream Meet

    01/28/2017
    08:00AM — 10:00PM

    January 28 & 29, 2017 Off-Site Location: Reid Ross Classical School 3200 Ramsey Street Faye...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • CountrySide's All American Dream Meet

    01/29/2017
    08:00AM — 08:00PM

    January 28 & 29, 2017 Off-Site Location: Reid Ross Classical School 3200 Ramsey Street Faye...


  • Soup & Sandwich Fundraiser

    01/29/2017
    12:15PM

    All are welcome to join us for this delicious fundraiser to make our church handicap accessible. ...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/29/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Child Trafficking Forum

    01/30/2017
    06:30PM

    The Child Advocacy Center and the Fayetteville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc...


  • The HappyFeet League is on weekends. It is offered to children ages 2-6 years old. Each game ...


  • Tai Chi for Health

    01/31/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/02/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/03/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Super Bowl Pub Run

    02/03/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Wear your favorite Football Jersey and go for a 2 mile run/walk or 3.5 mile run/walk. We will be...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    02/03/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Didg Revolution is composed of Darren Liebman, Rob Thomas, and Tanya Gerard. Thomas and Gerard ar...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/03/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    02/04/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/04/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/05/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • 5k Beginner Running Series

    02/05/2017
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    4 week Training series: Let the Runners Spot help you train for your 1st 5k this year. This is ...


  • Tai Chi for Health

    02/07/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


  • Free Diabetes Clinic

    02/08/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    Better Health will offer a free diabetes clinic at the Spring Lake Senior Center, located on 301 ...


  • The HappyFeet League is on weekends. It is offered to children ages 2-6 years old. Each game ...


  • The David McCune International Art Gallery at Methodist University will host a photography exhibi...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


CityView Facebook
CityView Family Facebook