THE STANDARD THEATER

THE STANDARD THEATER

601
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1915-1924
/ Demolished in
1958-1970
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Type: 

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  • Sat, 09/10/2016 - 2:59pm by SteveR

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601
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1915-1924
/ Demolished in
1958-1970
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Type: 

 

The former Standard Theater (background, left side), April 1941 (screen shot from H. Lee Waters movie)

The Standard Theater opened July 4, 1924, and was originally owned by local African American enterpreneur Durwood O'Kelly; other business partners were Charles Brooks (the builder/contractor of the building), and Jesse Kirkland (the brick mason for the project). It had seating for 300. The theater also hosted social events and monthly dances, and the space was occasionally used for Sunday church services by various church congregations that did not have a building of their own. 

 

 
Sanborn map excerpt, June 1925
 
The theater closed in 1939; soon afterwards the building housed the Carolina Produce Company (see 1945 map excerpt below). By 1953 it was Williams Upholstering (and can be seen on the 1955 aerial photograph of Chapel Hill) and in 1957 also was a Sun Oil Company service station; by 1968 the property was Merritt Motors; by 1973 it was Village Auto; by 1978 it was Brooks & Tobin Motors. It may have been demolished by the time Merritt Motors utilized the property. Today, the site is (still) a used car lot at 601 West Franklin Street.
 
Sanborn map excerpt, December 1945 
 

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