Chapel Hill's Varsity Theatre for sale

May 26, 2009 

Chapel Hill's landmark Varsity Theatre is for sale.

Owner Bruce Stone said last night he was hoping to hear from a buyer for the Franklin Street business by the end of yesterday.

“Today was supposed to be the day of decision,” he said Monday evening. "I can’t know the whole story until this day expires, which is why I’m sitting at home.”

Fans, a neighboring merchant and an employee at Stone's Chelsea Theaters all said they understood the business was closing or changing hands. They had heard the last show might be Thursday, though the newspaper received movie listings for the Varsity's upcoming week this morning.

If the Varsity closes, it would leave downtown, without a movie theater. The Carolina Theatre, which Stone also owned, closed in 2005 when property owner Joe Riddle decided to seek a single tenant for his space.

On Monday, the possibility the Varsity might close prompted former Alderman Allen Spalt to e-mail Carrboro Town Hall suggesting, “If it can’t be saved where it is, maybe it is finally time for a movie theater in Carrboro?”

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