Tuesday, June 23, 2009
"I love the smell of popcorn in the evening. It smells like...Varsity!" - Me from one of my first shifts ever at the theater in 2004
After weeks of speculation and much community commentary, the Varsity Theater, built in 1927, located in downtown Chapel Hill, N.C. is closing.
The last night will be Thursday, June 25th with THE HANGOVER (7:15/9:30 PM) and THE BROTHERS BLOOM (7:00/9:20).
As I've blogged before I've worked there since 2004, but I've gone to the theater since the '70s having seen many crucial films from my youth there (STAR WARS, THE JERK, AIRPLANE!, etc.) so this is very sad for me personally.
For many folks in the area it will be a blow, maybe not a devastating one, but one that will grow as the idea of a Franklin Street without any movie screens has yet to sink in.
David Fellerath's blog post ("Varsity Theater To Go Dark Friday, June 26" - Film Beat, June 23rd) that broke the story reported: "Owner Bruce Stone wouldn't directly confirm the theater's closing, but when asked if the fact that the Indy had not been provided with movie listings for the Varsity meant there would be no movies there, he replied, 'That would be a correct inference.'" So there it is.
Stone has still yet to make an official announcement but we all know the gig is up. Maybe, just maybe, with much hope a developer or future buyer will take on the place. Such a beautiful old iconic theater shouldn't end up like so many others across the country - old boarded up shells of former glory.
The Varsity Theater was so much more than an old art house - it was a beloved institution that really tied the town together, as The Dude might say. Farewell, sweet Varsity.