Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll share “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about making time to play, at local sports facilities, live music venues, indie movie theaters and fun places and spaces all around the Triangle.
Since 1927 (nearly a century) there’s been a movie theater in the Sorrell Building in downtown Chapel Hill. The theater’s name changed through the years but has been called The Varsity Theatre since the 1950’s and has been a landmark along Franklin Street. In 2009 the theater’s future was unclear. Proving it’s hard to keep a good theater down, new local owners stepped in to take over the classic treasure. All the theater needed was a few cosmetic improvements and refurbishments, restoring an historic ambiance, and The Varsity was back by Thanksgiving to screen the classic The Wizard of Oz.
Locals are thankful for the Varsity and its entertainment value, primarily screening second run contemporary films for a mere $4 admission for any showing. There are actually two theaters within the building, one seating up to 230 and the other seating 138. In addition, you’ll find a lobby and party room upstairs that’s perfect for private parties (and available for rental).
In addition to the rotating schedule of recent releases fans enjoy seasonal special events too, like the annual Gone with the Wind Valentines weekend screenings. In the Fall the Ackland Film Forum (a collaboration between the Ackland Art Museum and UNC Chapel Hill) hosts art films, documentaries and narratives that highlight a particular theme or exhibition. The best way to keep up with what’s screening at The Varsity (if you don’t walk by its marquee daily) is to subscribe to the newsletter via their website. That way you’ll never miss an opportunity to be entertained by this classic Chapel Hill venue.