Preservation Durham To Host Behind-The-Scenes Tour of Carolina Theatre

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Attendees will see parts of the theatre that the public never gets to see.

December 2, 2013 (Durham, NC) -- Preservation Durham has announced a special “Hidden Durham Tour: Back Stage at The Carolina Theatre,” to be held Monday, December 9, from 5 to 7 p.m.  

The Washington, D.C. architectural firm Milburn & Heister designed the theatre in the Beaux-Arts style. It was completed in 1926, and it was the first theater in Durham to admit African-Americans, although there were still segregated ticket lines and lounge areas until the summer of 1963.

The theatre closed in the summer of 2011 to begin a $1.8 million renovation project that included replacing all carpet throughout the facility, lighting upgrades, replacing audio systems, and restoring and repainting damaged plaster. Safety modifications also made it possible to open six private boxes on the main stage. The boxes were built during a 1990s renovation but never opened. 

During the Hidden Durham Tour, “we’ll show you parts of the theatre that the public never gets to see,” said Wendy Hillis, Preservation Durham’s Executive Director.

Periodically, Preservation Durham sponsors specially arranged tours of Durham places. These one-time-only tours are open to Preservation Durham members only, but attendees may join at the door, in advance at, or by calling (919) 682-3036.

Carolina Theatre is located at 309 West Morgan Street in downtown Durham. Tours will take place on the half hour between 5 and 7 p.m. Hidden Durham tours generally sell out so members are encouraged to reserve their spaces early.

For more information on “Hidden Durham Tours” and other Preservation Durham events, visit

About Preservation Durham:

Preservation Durham is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to preserving Durham’s architectural heritage. The organization was founded in 1974, originally as the Historic Preservation Society of Durham. Preservation Durham has worked to establish historic districts in Durham that provide tax credits for homeowners of historic houses. Preservation Durham ’s Endangered Properties Fund helps buyers and sellers of historic properties protect them with preservation covenants. Its Renovators Network provides information and expertise to homeowners and other renovators. For more information visit