CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A piece of Charlotte’s history is officially shut down, a theater more than 7 decades old, now gutted.
The year 1947 marked a time for the record books. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in sports, and a man by the name of Earl Tupper, invented, you guessed it Tupperware, and if you lived in Charlotte for anytime in the past 7 decades, there is a chance you enjoyed another piece of history.
April 11 1947, the Manor Theater was born. Three years after the conclusion of World War Two, H.B. Meiselman of Eastern Federal Corp, brought something unique to the Charlotte area. Brad Ritter managed the Theater for the last 25 years. He said the first show was the egg and I, on the opening day they gave away baby chicks, so you would come see the movie and leave with a baby chick.
This was a neighborhood theater where hundreds, and thousands of people over the years came and saw movies together, and shared in an artistic experience. It would be a place of refuge, on any given Friday there would be at least something for anyone to see.
A single auditorium theater, that sloped in the front, inside a building that could seat around 500. If you have been here then you will feel a nostalgic, if you drive past it you might think wait, that’s a movie theater in that tiny strip. The Original Manor was like any old movie theater. Smaller then most, but otherwise in programming not different at all.
Over the course of 4 decades, the Manor would play some of Hollywood’s Greats. In the 1980′s the theater would take on a new form. Brad says, shockingly in 4 or 5 weeks they were able to turn this from a one screen to a two screen just like that. Each auditorium had about 180 seats.
Pretty much now all the Equipment is gone. Some would go as far to say, a theater that’s been around this long may have something more attached to it. There are stories that the theater is haunted.
After 73 years the Manor is no more. We say goodbye to a theater, but hold on to the memories.
Regal acquired the theater back in 2005, We reached out to Regal to see if there are any plans in the works for the space. No word yet.