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The Manor Theatre To Close Permanently After 73 Years

Jodie Valade

Charlotte's Manor Twin Theatre, considered to be Charlotte's oldest movie theater and a cultural landmark of the Myers Park neighborhood, will close permanently, according to a statement issued by its owners.

The movie theater opened in 1947 and has been operated by the Regal Cinemas chain since 2005, though the property has been owned by Eastern Federal Corperation for at least 75 years.

"EFC is proud to have been a part of the long legacy of the Manor theater, first as operators and more recently as landlord," said Josh Page, COO of Eastern Federal, "I know Regal will do a great job of serving Charlotte's art community in its other venues."

"We truly appreciate the loyal patronage at the Manor Twin and our partnership with Eastern Federal over the years," said Richard Grover, vice president of communications at Regal, "Our staff worked hard to provide a quality entertainment venue serving Charlotte moviegoers with art and independent film."

It wasn't immediately clear why the theater was closing or what would become of the property or its marquee sign. The theater has been temporarily closed, along with all other Regal movie theaters in the Charlotte area, since March 17 amid widespread shutdowns due to the coronavirus.

The Manor Theatre held its debut screening on April 1, 1947 with a showing of "The Egg and I" starring Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray. Over the years, it became known for showing alternative or independent films usually passed over by mainstream theaters.

The theater would regularly screen concert flicks, documentaries, and Japanimation movies. In the 1980s and 90s, it showed films with prominent gay themes, like "My Beautiful Laundrette" and "Longtime Companion," and it participated in the budding Charlotte Gay and Lesbian Film Series.

Its closure follows the demise of Charlotte's other art house movie theater, the Regal Ballantyne Village, which permanently closed in February. The joint decision to close the theater was made by Regal and Stonemar Properties of New York, which owned and managed the property. The management company told The Charlotte Observer it planned to replace the theater with new office space.

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Nick de la Canal is an on air host and reporter covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal