In summer 2016, the Chelsea Theater, located in the Timberlyne Shopping Center, became my dark hideaway. On fuzzy, humid nights, I’d make solitary pilgrimages to the little theater just ten minutes from my Carrboro home.
I saw six movies there that summer (sometimes in exchange for a dinner out). The demure gem shows exclusively independent and foreign films, which can be hard to catch at other theaters until long after the release date if at all. I scolded myself for not discovering the Chelsea sooner than that summer. I’ve written extensively on these pages about how the Varsity on Franklin has represented a beacon of hope to me at UNC.
The Chelsea, while a bit of a journey off campus, has been my favorite best kept secret to share and definitely another shaping landmark in my last few years in Chapel Hill.
Last semester brought the news, albeit quietly, that the Chelsea might close “given the advancing years of the current owner it might be difficult committing to another five year lease,” according to the theater’s website.
On Sunday, 130 community members met at Flyleaf Books to discuss the Chelsea’s future and whether or not the community might pull together to help the Chelsea keep its doors open, which would bear a similarity to the Pinhook in Durham.