You’ve likely been to one of these theaters: Stage Door Theater for a Jazz Room session, Knight Theater for an Opera Carolina performance, Belk Theater for Charlotte Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker,” Booth Playhouse for an exhibition by Playing For Others, or McGlohon Theater for the 100 Words Film Festival. All five frequently create space for public events. Maybe you even have a favorite theater (mine is Belk Theater, for its beautiful, curved balconies).
But do you know the meaning behind each one’s name?
You’ll find this theater at Spirit Square, which was originally built in 1909 as First Baptist Church. McGlohon Theater started as the First Baptist Church sanctuary before being restored and repurposed as a theater. Its name honors the late jazz pianist Loonis McGlohon of Charlotte. He wrote music for operas, musicals, revues and more.
Get there: A free screening of the award-winning documentary “Brothers Hypnotic” is Jan. 6. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. 345 N. College St.
This theater is tucked into Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, which opened in 1992. The land that holds the performing arts center was donated by the Belk Brothers Company in 1987. Effectively, the Belk Theater was named to honor the Belk family and Belk Brothers Company for their gift to the campaign that built the center.
Get there: Catch performances of the musical “An American in Paris” Jan. 10-15. Showtimes vary. 130 N. Tryon St.
According to Blumenthal Performing Arts, Booth Playhouse (located in the performing arts center) was named in honor of Doug Booth, a Duke Energy board member. Booth served as chairman of the Building Committee for Blumenthal Performing Arts and oversaw negotiations in contracts and construction for the center.
Get there: Sit back for the one-man comedy blending theatre and stand-up, “Men Are From Mars – Women Are From Venus LIVE!” Feb. 10-11. Showtimes vary. 130 N. Tryon St.
Stage Door Theater
Unlike the others, this theater name doesn’t trace back to a notable person in the arts community. According to Blumenthal Performing Arts, the venue got its name because the entrance to the theater also serves as the stage door for Belk Theater and Booth Playhouse.
Get there: Step into The Jazz Room @ The Stage Door Theater, one installment in the Jazz Arts Initiative’s monthly series, Jan. 20-21 to see jazz flutist Kent Jordan pay tribute to Hubert Laws with Strings. Showtimes vary. 130 N. Tryon St.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is behind this name. Knight investments in Charlotte have ranged from a Cultural Facilities campaign and naming of Knight Theater, to the Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte, to the expansion of Charlotte Center City Partners’ work in Historic West End. The Knight Foundation seeks to invest in journalism and the arts in cities where the Knight brothers published newspapers. In this city, that paper was the Charlotte Observer, which was formerly under the media company Knight-Ridder.
Get there: Charlotte Symphony Orchestra presents “Star Wars The Music” Jan. 11-14. Showtimes vary. 430 S. Tryon St.