More than 6,700 people have watched a movie or attended a live performance at The Cary since the theater opened in February, according to the town.
An average of about 375 people a week come to The Cary, a $6 million renovated theater the town owns on East Chatham Street downtown.
Town leaders are pleased with the turnout so far, said Joy Ennis, downtown theater and events supervisor for Cary.
“We’re still new, we’re still building,” Ennis said. “Now we’re really starting to push our marketing to get the word out.”
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The 175-seat theater hosts movies on Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons. The Friday and Saturday lineups switch between movies and live performances, including bands, improv and comedy acts, and dance groups.
Six String Presents, a 12-concert series featuring singer-songwriters from across the country, will begin Saturday at The Cary. The series is a partnership between the town and Six String Ventures, owned by Cary entrepreneur David Sardinha.
Sardinha owned Six String Cafe in Cary for five years before it closed in 2005. The venue hosted music in a low-key setting.
Now Sardinha says he envisions music having a big role in the revitalization of downtown Cary, where he lives.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Sardinha said of Cary’s efforts to breathe new life downtown.
Along with the renovated theater, Cary plans to build a park across from the Cary Arts Center. A developer is building a boutique hotel on Academy Street, and there are early plans for a new downtown library.
Cary could become a music hub that could attract people from Raleigh, Sardinha said.
“I think Cary kind of stands on its own feet now,” he said.
For now, Ennis is trying to spread the word that things are happening at The Cary, which welcomes visitors with a large marquee.
Bands have drawn crowds of between 100 and 120 people, she said. Classic movies are also a big hit. Ennis said the film “To Kill a Mockingbird” played to a sold-out theater.
But a little-known film drew a crowd of only about 30, Ennis said.
“We’re still trying to feel out what the attendance is going to be,” she said.
More plans are in the works. A foreign-film series will start in September at The Cary. There will also be themed movie weekends – Hollywood films made in North Carolina, John Wayne flicks and all things zombies.
Ennis expects the Six String series will be a success.
“I think it’s going to be a really good fit for this place,” she said.