Colony Theatre

129 Market Street,
Wilmington, NC 28405

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Paramount Pictures Inc., Stewart and Everett

Architects: Burett H. Stephens

Previous Names: Victoria Theatre, Carolina Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Colony Theatre

The Victoria Theatre was opened on January 12, 1914. In 1924 it was renamed Carolina Theatre. In the 1941 & 1943 editions of Film Daily Yearbook, the Carolina Theatre is listed as being operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. thru their subsidiary H.F. Kincey. The Carolina Theatre is listed at 131 Market Street in the 1950 edition of F.D.Y.

Later renamed Colony Theatre, it was also one of several movie theatres located on Market Street in downtown Wilmington that were operated under the Stewart and Everett Theatre chain (which also operated the Bailey Theatre and the Manor Theatre). The Colony Theatre was closed October 31, 1974.

Contributed by raymond

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

PatriciaCarol on May 7, 2009 at 2:08 am

I was wrong! My mother insisted that The Bailey was never owned by Stewart & Everett and she was right in that it was never owned by them when she lived in Wilmington. At some point, I do not know when, The Bailey was operated (but probably not owned) by Stewart & Everett as I have seen it listed in some promotional literature for the managers of this chain from the 1970s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 14, 2010 at 3:29 pm

This house opened January 12, 1914, as the Victoria Theatre. It was designed by architect Burett H. Stephens, who had designed Wilmington’s first purpose-built movie house, the Bijou, opened in 1912. After closing in 1924, the Victoria was remodeled and reopened as the Carolina Theatre the following year.

The latest mention I can find of the Carolina Theatre in Boxoffice dates from December 13, 1952, and the earliest mention of the Colony I’ve found is from November 9, 1954, so the name was changed between those dates.

There is a page about the Victoria in the “Going to the Show” section of the University of North Carolina’s DocSouth project. It links to their page about the Carolina, but I don’t see anything there about the house as the Colony.

Boxoffice of November 25, 1974, recaps the history of the Victoria/Carolina/Colony in one of two articles about the closing of the house (left column, right-hand page), which took place on October 31 that year. Note that both the Boxoffice article and the UNC’s Carolina Theatre page misspell the architect’s name as Stevens rather than the correct Stephens. Additionally, Boxoffice gives the year of the name change from Victoria to Carolina as 1930, not 1925 as stated at the UNC page.

kencmcintyre on February 23, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Here is another vintage photo of the Colony:

raysson on December 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm

A lot of great movies played here at the Colony Theatre in Downtown Wilmington. David Lean’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA played here first-run on August 22,1963. It was an exclusive engagement showing.


raysson on January 29, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Closed on October 31,1974

rivest266 on May 15, 2016 at 12:53 am

Trouble with the law in 1914:

gadavis500 on June 1, 2017 at 10:36 pm

the newspaper article linked by rivest266 states that the Victoria Theatre was at 836 Market St. It was in the 100 block of Market St. Can anyone explain that?

gadavis500 on June 1, 2017 at 10:51 pm

Upon more research, it seems that the cited article was from The Wilmington News, of Wilmington,Delaware. Although the article was about Benny Schwarz and it was a Victoria Theatre and it was on Market St. Something is very strange here. It begs the question…. was the Benny Schwarz of Wilmington NC (who later became the mayor), ever the manager of the Victoria Theatre in Wilmington, NC? …or is all of this a pure coincidence and brought together by research on theatres.?

FlashCat on August 7, 2019 at 12:52 am

They are two different theaters. The Victoria in Wilmington, DE was closed in March 1920. The site was purchased by the Wilmington Savings Fund Society bank and built their new headquarters on that site. The Wilmington, DE gentlemen’s name was Benjamin Schwartz and not Schwarz (the Wilmington, NC gentlemen’s name) so they would be two totally different men.

DavidZornig on July 20, 2020 at 11:58 pm

Demolition photos added credit New Hanover County Public Library.

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