Aug. 20, 2021
When Crook’s Corner announced its sudden, unexpected closing in mid-June, co-owner Shannon Healy fielded condolence calls from restaurateurs for miles around. At some point in every conversation, the caller would say, “If any of your...Read More
July 29, 2021
Crook’s Corner came so close to surviving the pandemic. The governor had lifted COVID-19 restrictions. Restaurants had begun welcoming diners back inside, and people hungry for a night out and a meal prepared by a...Read More
June 21, 2021
To the unaugmented eye, the Franklin Centre at 128 E. Franklin St. might look like just another warren of small shops. But visitors taking a recently launched virtual history tour can use smartphones as time...Read More
Will the longtime showplace for indie films be sold or closed?
Bruce Stone, who previously also owned the Varsity Theater in downtown Chapel Hill, opened the Chelsea Theater in 1990 in the Timberlyne shopping center. The Chelsea became the primary place in town to see independent and foreign films, and several years ago Stone dug deep into his retirement nest egg to convert its projection equipment to the digital technology demanded by today’s new releases.
But when Silverspot opened in University Place a couple of years ago, showing independent films along with mainstream fare on its 13 screens, the three-screen Chelsea faced strong competition. Stone estimates that the new theater — with its reclining seats, bar and restaurant, and online reservations — captured a fourth of his audience, despite higher ticket prices.
Stone said he’d been deluged with emails from fans after announcing plans recently to shutter the theater unless he can sell it. It’s in the final months of a five-year lease and, “given the advancing year of the current owner,” as a post on the Chelsea’s website puts it, he’s reluctant to commit to another lease.
Stone said he hopes to find a buyer who understands “the mission of the Chelsea and could carry it forward.”
1129 Weaver Dairy Road, thechelseatheater.com