Center Theatre

Boasting air conditioning and a mighty Wurlitzer organ, the Center Theater was one of downtown Durhams lavish movie houses from 1938 until late 1966. Standing at the northeast corner of Chapel Hill and Holland streets, seating 1,400 patrons, it was designed by Erle Stillwell, a renowned cinema architect who mixed sleek Modernist styling with Art Deco details. A wraparound marquee was surmounted by vertical fluting at the street-corner entrance; inside, a grand curving staircase led to mezzanine seating and lounges.

The downtown Center closed after Durhams first run of Doctor Zhivago in 1966. A new Center opened right away at Lakewood Shopping Center, but the 1938 building was demolished the next year to make way for the bank building that still occupies the site.
Holland Street