The Carolina Theatre Exhibits, Phases I and II
The historic Carolina Theatre, located in downtown Durham, was built in the early 1920s and still serves as a hotspot for entertainment, musicians, film festivals, and events.
The Phase I exhibits began in 2011, when the historic building was undergoing significant renovations. We were pleased to be a part of those changes by designing and fabricating a series of exhibits that tell the story of the theatre, the artists, and the evolution of downtown Durham over the past century.
In 2013, we began planning for Phase II, which opened this February. The new Civil Rights exhibit, “Confronting Change,” is on display on the second floor, where visitors enter the balcony. The Carolina Theatre was the first theater in Durham to open its doors to African American patrons, although the experience for Black and white customers was very different. The original ticket window is on display and shows where Black patrons once protested the segregated ticket lines and the 97 steps from the segregated entrance to the balcony seating. In July of 1963, the theatre began operating without segregation, a full year before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was a true testament to the heroes of Durham in the 1960s.