Edward C. Smith Civic Center

217 S. Main Street,
Lexington, NC 27295

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Paramount Pictures Inc.

Architects: Erle G. Stillwell

Functions: Community Center

Previous Names: Carolina Theatre, Civic Center Theatre

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Edward C. Smith Civic Center
  1. Tilden Hedrick built the Carolina Theatre in 1930. It was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidairy H.F. Kincey. It was used for films and stage shows until 1945, when a fire devastated the building.

A group of Lexington citizens renovated the structure and it continued as a movie theatre named Civic Center Theatre. It was later named the Edward C. Smith Civic Center. The exterior is modern, but the stage remains intact.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

rivest266 on March 13, 2010 at 3:24 pm

This opened on September 1st, 1930. you can see the opening ad at
View link

rivest266 on March 13, 2010 at 3:50 pm

December 13th, 1948 opening ad
View link
for the new theatre. The Old Carolina’s listings stopped in 1945.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 11, 2010 at 10:00 am

It was an ABC THEATRE,but for some reason most their late shows on the weekends were X -rated.We never could have pulled that off in Augusta.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 13, 2012 at 11:46 am

The Carolina Theatre as rebuilt in 1948 was designed by architect Erle G. Stillwell, according to the history site Chuck linked to in his earlier comment.

It’s probable that the original theater on the Carolina’s site, partly destroyed by a fire in 1945, was the proposed house that was the subject of this item in the June 22, 1922, issue of Manufacturers Record:

“N. C, Lexington—Lexington Theater Co.. H. B. Varner, Prest.; $128,000 theater. Main St.; fireproof; 3 stores; theater in rear to seat 1500; offices on second floor; Harry Barton, Archt., Greensboro; Harbin Constr. Co., Contr., Lexington; B. McKenzle. Greensboro, heating and ventilating. $10,750: Durham Publicity Service Co.. Durham, electric fixtures and wiring, $14,500; plans include structure 79x210 ft.; ordinary construction; Barrett roof; wood and tile floors: electric lights.”
UNC’s Going to the Show collection has this page for a 1,200-seat house called the Lexington Theatre, located at 215 S. Main Street, operated by H. B. Varner and in operation by 1923.

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