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What’s in the time capsule buried 50 years ago at North Hills? Find out Thursday

William Enloe, former Raleigh mayor and a district manager for the company that owned the former Cardinal Theater, participates in a ceremony in 1967 burying a time capsule at North Hills.
William Enloe, former Raleigh mayor and a district manager for the company that owned the former Cardinal Theater, participates in a ceremony in 1967 burying a time capsule at North Hills.

Fifty years after being buried in the sidewalk of North Hills, a time capsule will once again see the light of day on Thursday.

The capsule was buried at a ceremony on Thursday, June 8, 1967, to honor the grand opening of North Hills’ Cardinal Theater. Exactly 50 years later, people will again gather to witness its unearthing, set to take place at 10 a.m. near what’s now the Bonefish Grill.

The event is free and open to the public.

When the capsule was buried, The Raleigh Times and The News & Observer newspapers reported that a range of items were inserted into the copper capsule. Among those listed:

▪ a key to the city.

▪ a copy of the Manual of North Carolina.

▪ products developed at local plants.

▪ a recording of the ceremony made by radio station WPTF.

▪ a WRAL television film reel.

▪ Writing from columnist A.C. Snow depicting life in Raleigh.

Snow who is now in his 90s, plans to be in attendance Thursday. The day will feature speeches from North Hills redeveloper John Kane and two guest speakers, who will speak about how the Cardinal Theater and time capsule played a role in their lives.

The entire capsule contents will be displayed at the Midtown Beach Music concert on Thursdayfrom 6 to 9 p.m. in the North Hills Commons, by the 14-screen movie theater, said Hannah Gordon, North Hills’ marketing manager. The contents will then go to the City of Raleigh Museum for exhibition.

When the capsule was buried, Raleigh was a town of 110,000 and Downtown Boulevard, now Capital, was the busiest thoroughfare in the state. The 12-story Branch Banking & Trust building was the city’s tallest “skyscraper.”

When the capsule was buried in 1967, Raleigh was a town of 110,000 and Downtown Boulevard, now Capital, was the busiest thoroughfare in the state.

“We’ve got a wonderful city, this Raleigh of 1967, and I know it will be even greater when we open this capsule 50 years from now,” said William G. Enloe. At the time, the former mayor was also district manager for the company that owned the theater.

In the Raleigh Times story about the capsule on June 8, 1967, Enloe complimented Edward Richards, developer of of the North Hills shopping center.

“We are proud to be located in an area growing so rapidly. You’ve done a fine job,” he said.

At the conclusion of the presentations, Enloe said he didn’t know how to address people in 2017, so he borrowed a line from North Carolina-born bandleader James “Kay” Kyser, and said, “Evening folks, hi y’all.”

The new single-screen theater, which seated over 800, opened with a showing of the Doris Day comedy “Caprice.” In the mid 1970s, the Cardinal was remodeled to a two-screen theater. It closed in 1990, making way then for a Blockbuster video rental store, in what the N&O called “a sign of the changing times.”

The last movie to be shown at the Cardinal was “Henry V.”

After the unearthing of the capsule, North Hills has vowed to continue the tradition and will bury a new time capsule to be opened on June 8, 2067. It will receive contributions from the Raleigh Fire Department, local sports teams, Wake County and private schools, items from local businesses, a Walter Magazine and other contributions from WRAL and the N&O.

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