Feb. 2 marks the 96th anniversary of the founding of the Carolina Theatre of Durham.
Located in the heart of downtown Durham, the non-profit theater was closed for over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is currently focused on fully reopening to the public.
Jordan Beard, marketing director at the Carolina Theatre, said there will not be a formal celebration of the theater's anniversary due to pandemic concerns.
"Our focus has been on safely reopening," she said. "While we don't have any formal celebrations planned, we are excited to be offering live events, films and educational programs again."
Carolina Theatre President and CEO Randy McKay said the anniversary has been celebrated on social media, museum exhibits and educational events.
The Carolina Theatre served also as a focal point during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
In March 1962, a series of protests by Black activists ensued to promote integration in the theater. This was eventually achieved in 1963 under the guidance of Durham mayor and civil rights activist Wense Grabarek.
To pay tribute to this history, an annual screening of February One is shown. The documentary highlights four Black college freshmen who participated in the Woolworth’s sit-in.
The screening event was a part of the theater’s Arts Discovery Educational Series, a collection of educational films shown during school hours to encourage a liaison between arts and education. The theater was open as a field trip destination for schools in Durham.