Apartment Living BlogFood & Entertaining › The Best Theaters in Charlotte

The booming cranes and under construction high-rises that dot Charlotte’s landscape serve as evidence that the Queen City is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. However, as the city makes room to welcome its new neighbors, some of its most iconic entertainment venues have been demolished in the name of development. While many have thrown up their hands in despair, plenty of venues still exist where you can catch the latest independent bands, movies, or plays, and some of the new venues are pretty cool themselves. It’s a beautiful blend of old versus new that is Charlotte.

Music Venues

The music scene in Charlotte was hit hardest by new development over the past few years with the loss of Amos’ and Tremont. While concerts seen on those stages can still be heard in the hearts of many, there are plenty of music halls throughout town to enjoy some of your favorite independent acts, be they local, regional, or national.

The historic NoDa neighborhood is home to two of Charlotte’s most iconic (and still standing) music venues – the Evening Muse and the Neighborhood Theater. The 80-seat Evening Muse is one of Charlotte’s most intimate music venues. Due to its size, The Evening Muse draws acts still in the infancy of their career. It’s a great spot to discover your new favorite band way back when. As bands climb through the ranks, the next stage they perform on when they come back to Charlotte is The Neighborhood Theatre, located catty-corner to The Evening Muse in an old movie theatre. With a capacity of around a thousand, it still allows for an intimate experience.

To contrast with some of Charlotte’s more old-timey venues is the NC Music Factory where locals enjoy acts at the Fillmore and Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre. While both venues are newer, they do a nice job at highlighting acts on their ascent to stardom. The Fillmore is the next stop when talent graduates from The Neighborhood Theatre. It’s mostly standing room only except for a small VIP section. The Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre serves as a fun warmer weather outdoor venue to catch acts before they graduate to the big stages of summer.

Twitter: @theeveningmuse, @Ntheatre, @FillmoreNC, @UptownAmpCLT

Independent Movie Theaters

Charlotte boasts a few of new and old theatres to please cinephiles in search of unique voices as well. A visit to Regal Manor Twin is a trip down movie history lane. The theater opened in 1947 as Manor Twin theatre and today showcases both independent films and some first run movies. Be warned though that the experience is very old-timey (read: spartan).

Another popular venue for the independent film sort is Regal Ballantyne Village (aka the UFO theatre). While the venue itself isn’t a classic, what they show is, blending offerings of both limited release films and art films.

Twitter: @regalmovies

Performing Arts

What? Charlotte isn’t just about banking and buttoned up collars? True dat. The city also boasts a thriving local performing arts scene with several community theatres to catch both local and national talent. The Actors Theatre is a great place to start. For 27 seasons, the locally run theatre has been enthralling Charlotteans with locally produced plays. And, here’s the best part, since their inception, Actors Theatre has made sure the talent has been compensated.

Theatre Charlotte is another great venue to see local actors at play. The volunteer-based theatre company has been taking to the stage since 1928. During that time, the North Carolina Theatre Conference named Theatre Charlotte their Community Theatre of the Year three times.

Twitter: @TheatreChar

Looking for something a little more lighthearted and humorous? Check out Three Bone Theatre. In its fifth season, the theatre promises to deliver shows that hit your wishbone, backbone, and funny bone.

Twitter: @ThreeBoneTweets

Why not make a date night of it? Pick your poison of music, cinema, or live theatre and pop into one of Charlotte’s top cocktail lounges beforehand!

About :

Bryan M. Richards is a beer, food, and travel writer based in Charlotte. His work has appeared in Men’s Journal, Beer Advocate, and just about anything with the word Charlotte in it. Follow his food and drink adventures on Instagram.

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