Developer Seeks Community Feedback for Potential Project at Old Carolina Theater

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SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – The Carolina Theater inside the Montgomery Building in Spartanburg could see new life.

“I think it would be great,” said Andre Robinson, who lives in Spartanburg. “I really know my son would be there all the time.”

The developers plan to create an Esports arena for video game competitions inside the old theater.

“The main building itself was redeveloped a few years ago and has been successful since then and is pursuing a plan to see this theater redeveloped as well, as sort of the icing on the cake,” said communications manager Christopher George. . for the city of Spartanburg.

First, the developers want to hear from the community.

“It’s really important to have a viable path that’s going to be successful for this space, so this kind of research will help the developer figure out what’s going to work there and what people in the area would support,” George said.

They ask people to complete a survey, so they can rate the application and hear the thoughts of the community. On Friday, some people said the installation was a great idea.

“I have ‘Music on Main’ and I think it would be good for younger people to go in and hang out because all the arcades in the mall don’t exist anymore. That’s kind of what we did said Robinson.

Robinson also said it could breathe new life into the historic Montgomery Building, which opened in 1924.

“My grandparents have stories about the Montgomery Building, and so my grandkids, my kid, and maybe I could go and have our own little stories and history with the Montgomery Building,” Robinson said.

City leaders said the Carolina Theater had been closed since the 1970s. They said the development could attract more people to the area.

“That corner of downtown having that kind of activity would be really important in attracting people to the place, it increases the footprint of downtown and attracts more people,” George said.

For now, George said the project is in its early stages as the developers gather research and information. Still, some think it would be a unique addition to downtown.

“If they bring that here, Spartanburg will definitely grow, so definitely bring it, we need it,” Robinson said.

The Montgomery Building is owned by BF Spartanburg, and executives said the theater was in good condition, considering its age. James Bakker, with BF Spartanburg, said the community survey will analyze the site’s potential and he believes the redevelopment could provide an economic boost to the community.

“It started as a vaudeville theater and then transitioned to film, so Esports seems like a natural transition. As one of the fastest growing sports and entertainment industries, especially popular with those 21 and under, esports is an important way to attract young residents and visitors. Additionally, it wouldn’t just be an Esports arena and would have the ability to show second-run movies and host conferences, weddings, and other events that require video and streaming,” Bakker said in a statement. communicated to 7News.

Bakker also said there is potential for other opportunities with school districts and local universities to expand and grow esports programs.

People can take the survey and express their opinions online.

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