Just 18 months ago, the historic Carolina Theatre in Durham was on the verge of closing. It was in a financial crisis brought on by management and bookkeeping problems. Now, the theater is celebrating the payoff of a $1.7 million deficit. Credit fundraising, a matching grant from the Durham City Council (it’s city-owned) and acting CEO Dan Berman with leading the comeback.
The theater is a great small venue for films and for concerts that are a tough fit elsewhere. It’s also a great place for groups to rent for special events, as it’s been restored inside and is most accommodating for visitors or audiences.
Berman was due some bragging rights on news that the deficit had been conquered. He said, and rightly so, “The outpouring of support from all segments of our community is testament to the central role the theater continues to play in shaping the cultural life of our city and region.” Berman praised the “arts loving” people of Durham, but he could have applied the adjective to the Triangle.
Durham has the DPAC, of course, for high-profile events that go well with the sleek, upscale venue and state-of-the-art sound system — such as the jazz guitar great Joe Bonamassa. But the Carolina works nicely for performers with smaller but loyal followings, such as folk singer Gordon Lightfoot.
The Bull City takes another bow. And deserves it.