Industry Noize: Carolina Theatre Rebirth

Charlotte, N.C.’s long shuttered Carolina Theatre could soon undergo a renovation thanks to a major gift from the family of a former city official. 

Photo: Carolina Theatre Preservation Society /
in Charlotte

The late John Belk once served as Charlotte’s mayor and members of his family recently donated $8 million to the Foundation for the Carolinas that owns the theatre.

The complex surrounding it will be known as Belk Place.

“We are forever grateful for this exceptionally generous gift from the two families,” foundation CEO Michael Marsicano told the Charlotte Observer. “Their extraordinary commitment will allow us to bring the Carolina Theatre back to life for our community with the grandeur it deserves.”

The foundation has been working to raise $35 million for a restoration project that will include a new lobby, office space, updates to the theatre, moving the façade and possibly a rooftop park.

Thus far, $20.7 million has been raised toward that goal, the paper said.

Cleveland-based architecture firm Westlake Reed Leskosky will design the new lobby and venue renovations. Along with the improvements, the theatre is also being eyed as a potential site for a new hotel. Developers have reportedly shown some interest in building a $60 million boutique property atop the venue’s lobby.

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