The Beloved Lumina Theater Could be Coming to A Close

Photo by Elsie Baker

After 20 years of movie showings and events, the Lumina Theatre may close. Initially the theater was supposed to close at the end of the summer with their full week of Harry Potter movies, ending September 2, being their last week. However, enough people showed enough interest in keeping Lumina open that management decided they would give the theatre until January 15, 2020 to either close or continue to stay open indefinitely.

Lumina opened in 2000, just six years after the neighborhood, Southern Village, was built. For a majority of people who grew up in Chapel Hill, the theatre has been a very important part of their lives; from their first movie to their first date, Lumina has seen it all. It began with four screening rooms, an arcade and a cafe. Eventually, they added a fifth screen in 2005, a lobby bar in 2011 and, recently, they have upgraded the screens to show digital movies.

Lumina’s been in need for an upgrade for a while now. Many seats have been marked off by caution tape or have been replaced allowing for Netflix, Hulu, and shiny new theatres like Silverspot have caught the attention of many Chapel Hill-Carrboro residents. 

Aidan Crosby, a junior at Carrboro High School, has been an employee at Lumina since the beginning of the 2019 summer. Around November he and the other employees are supposed to be informed of whether or not Lumina will remain open past January 15.

“We have this time so that some people are looking into buying the theatre and keeping it a theatre, I think,” said Crosby in an interview.

An anonymous group of neighbors who live in Southern Village have banded together to try and keep Lumina open. They are creating a financial plan intended to preserve Lumina. In addition to help from Southern Village residents, the Lumina has released a survey on their website to see the demographics of who is interested in saving the Lumina. Stay tuned to see the Lumina’s fate.