Studio 1 Theatre

2408 Hillsborough Street,
Raleigh, NC 27607

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DavidZornig on February 16, 2023 at 7:14 pm

January 1948 photo in below Facebook link. Marquee on far left.

rivest266 on May 5, 2020 at 11:20 am

This reopened as the Studio One on November 22nd, 1972. Grand opening ad posted.

Jibby on February 25, 2016 at 7:35 am

I’ll always remember the Studio 1 because I first experienced the Marv Newland’s marvelous work “Bambi Meets Godzilla” there at an animation film festival in the mid 70’s.

raysson on November 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm

VARSITY THEATRE opening November 9, 1941 with 505 seats. Closed in the early-1970’s when it became the STUDIO 1 cinema with 493 seats.

travistarrant on July 10, 2014 at 6:56 pm

The one thing I hated so much about the Studio 1 and 2 that opened up at The Electric Company Mall was the seats were so uncomfortable. It was like sitting on concrete slabs.

raysson on March 6, 2014 at 10:18 am

Correct: AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS was not a reserved seat engagement showing at Raleigh’s Varsity Theatre. The film’s Eastern North Carolina premiere was a reserved seat engagement on May 16,1957 as Raleigh’s State Theatre,not the Varsity Theatre.

The Varsity Theatre’s ONLY reserved seat engagement was for the Eastern North Carolina premiere showing of Cecil B. DeMille’s THE TEN COMMANDMENTS on November 23,1957.

I have in my possession the ads for this and if you need to see them please by all means contact me at the following address at

Thank You.

raysson on March 6, 2014 at 10:13 am

THE SOUND OF MUSIC played here as a re-issue in October of 1966. It was a general release showing for those who didn’t see it the first time where it played for 61 weeks at Raleigh’s Ambassador Theatre.

Micah on September 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm

One more thing, the Varsity/Studio 1 had 350 seats when it closed. I’m nearly certain this was the capacity for it’s entire life. This was not a large theater at all. There is no way it could have ever sat 700 as the description above states.

Micah on September 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Also, I cannot remember exactly, but the McDonald’s closed around 1995.

Micah on September 3, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Studio One closed in September of 1984. Studio I and II was opened at 2526 Hillsborough in 1987 by the same owner, Roy Harp.

raysson on July 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Travistarrant: I fondly remember the STUDIO 1 Theatre that after 1975 played a lot of independent films and foreign releases not to mention reissue of vintage Hollywood classics….Humphrey Bogart’s Casablanca got a lot of play time here as well it a much loved favorite among the college crowd…..Before it closed in the mid-1980’s it became a notorious haven for late night porn(not to mention showed anything with skin,not to mention the only theatre in the state that played “XXX” rated gay porn…a Jeff Stryker 35MM gay porno play at this theatre back in the mid-80’s),and the usual Rocky Horror Picture Show night owl flick on Friday nights. Sometimes a lot of rehash 70’s vintage got the reissue treatment too before it closed…a prime favorite that got played over and over at the Studio 1 was Mel Brooks' “Blazing Saddles” that was a huge college crowd favorite among the management.

The Studio 1 closed in 1989 when it moved a block west down the street next to the Electric Company Mall across from N.C. State University and it renamed the Studio I & II which was awful and claustrophobic with its narrow auditoriums and tight end seats which finally closed in 2000.

The Studio 1 movie theatre became a McDonald’s before it closed in 2000 when it became the North Carolina State University Textbook Store.

raysson on July 29, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I have an ad from the News and Observer from November 23,1957 for the reserved seat engagement showing of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS that had it’s Eastern North Carolina premiere at the Varsity Theatre in Raleigh,NC. If you need to see the ad,please contact me at this address:

I also have the full ad for the reserved seat engagement for the Eastern North Carolina premiere for May 16,1957 for the showing of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS that played at Raleigh’s Varsity Theatre.

travistarrant on July 26, 2013 at 10:53 pm

I recall before it closed that it showed porn and rocky Horror. The Studio I and II was awful just liked the person described. The auditoriums were claustrophobic and the seats felt like I was sitting on concrete slabs.

NightHawk1 on April 14, 2013 at 12:02 am

This theater was actually called Studio 1 rather than Studio; the later theater one block west at the Electric Company Mall was the Studio I & II.

atmos on March 13, 2010 at 4:14 am

The architect was Erle G Stillwell and the theatre opened 22 November 1941.