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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Varsity Theater to go dark Friday, June 26

Posted by on Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 7:26 PM

[caption id="attachment_4387" align="aligncenter" width="461" caption="UNC-Chapel Hill freshman Walker Percy, later the author of "The Moviegoer" and many other books, extends his leg while waiting in line for a movie at the Varsity Theatre, then known as the Carolina Theatre, on Franklin Street, circa 1933-34. Photo courtesy of North Carolina Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill"] [/caption]

The Varsity Theater, which has been in operation under different names on Chapel Hill's Franklin Street for more than 80 years, will go dark this Friday.

Owner Bruce Stone wouldn't directly confirm the theater's closing, but when asked if the fact that the Indy had not been provided with movie listings for the Varsity meant there would be no movies there, he replied, "That would be a correct inference."

Stone said he would make a formal announcement about the Varsity's operations on Thursday or Friday. Stone's other theater, the Chelsea, which is located in the Timberlyne shopping center, will remain open.

The Varsity's closing has been long-rumored, and earlier this month I wrote a story about the financial realities of the business of running a specialty movie house.

For the record, the Varsity is currently showing The Brothers Bloom and The Hangover. The final screening for the former film is 9:20 p.m., while the final screening for the latter is 9:30.

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