Carolina Theatre = Community Connection

I wrote the following as a contributing writer on www.linkingtriad.com:

What have I been waiting for all these years?! I’m certain I must be the last person in Greensboro to take advantage of the Carolina Theatre’s Classic Movie Series they produce every December! For the first time EVER, I attended the fabulous and wonderful movie, “White Christmas,” starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney. I love that movie, but it’s been years since I last saw it, and I can’t think of a more perfect setting in which to ever see it again.

The beautiful Carolina Theatre, which seats around 1000, had a huge crowd in the house for the show. Armed with their popcorn and beverages, Greensboro presented itself well Thursday night. I thought I was just going to the movies, accompanied by family and friends, and that we’d enjoy seeing the show on the (really) big screen, and drive home satisfied.

Here’s what else we got:

  • We experienced the movie like never before as the entire live audience erupted in applause every time a big dance number was performed on the screen!
  • Cheers were common throughout the show, as movie-goers didn’t hold back their visceral connections to this beautiful story.
  • As the final big scene unfolded and Bing Crosby sang out, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.” Guess what happened? Voices all around me (and mine included) joined in, and downtown Greensboro’s Carolina Theatre became an extension of the movie set, itself.
  • The thunderous concluding applause communicated the mutual feeling we each shared: community is about connecting with your neighbors, and what better way to connect than to share a classic movie?

In what other ways have you connected with your neighbors for the holidays this year?

Nightmares Around Elm Street

It was a dark and cold night. The wind whistled eerily through the bare branches as we traversed the vacant alleyways, guided only by the light of a single candle swaying gently back and forth, fingers of light longing to reach beyond the cold glass walls of the lantern housing it.

And so began our tour of Greensboro last night, escorted by Carolina History and Haunts. Who knew Greensboro even had ghosts?! If you’ve never participated in a ghost tour, I highly recommend it. Tours are offered in lots of towns, particularly tourist-heavy and history-rich locations like Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia. But I digress, let’s get back to last night.

Even though I’ve spent the majority of my years in this town, I appreciated hearing some of the wonderful stories that brought Greensboro to life. We walked the grounds of Blandwood Mansion, admired the 200+ year-old Oak tree that majestically graces the back lawn, and imagined ourselves back to 1795 – before Greensboro even existed. Standing on Greene Street – sandwiched between the Carolina Theatre and M’Coul’s Public House we learned we stood on what used to be a vast graveyard that stretched from Elm Street clear to Eugene. Battle-weary and severely wounded soldiers arrived by the trainload in 1865, just weeks before the Civil War officially ended, and some unrelated ghosts occupy a couple of rooms at the downtown Biltmore Greensboro Hotel.

Whether or not you believe in ghosts and supernatural occurrences is irrelevant. If you believe, as do I, that history can come to life as we walk through what used to be, then lace up your walking shoes and invest 90 minutes in discovering the past that undeniably defines each of us.