Wake Forest Historical Museum

The Movie Theaters

movie theater

The Forest Theater on South White Street, circa 1942, was a popular destination for college students and town residents, particularly after it became the first local business to install air-conditioning.

In the first part of the 20th century, the town had two movie theaters, and a ticket cost 12-cents.

The Collegiate and the Forest both closed after the college left town.

2 comments on “The Movie Theaters

  1. Joy Lineback
    August 1, 2019

    I lived in Wake Forest,NC from 1956-1967 with my parents, Luther and Louise Copeland, and my four siblings. We lived at 330 S. Main Street and enjoyed many years going to the Forest Theater. While the Collegiate Theater closed after WF College moved, the Forest stayed open until it was demolished by fire and not re-built. I believe this fire occurred in 1965. Please confirm the date the Forest burned. .

    • wakeforestmuseum
      August 1, 2019

      Hi Joy, thank you for sharing your memories! You’re correct in your recollection of the Forest Theater. It burned in 1966. This is from the WF Fire Department website:

      1966, Forest Theater on White Street burns. Blaze is discovered about 10:15 a.m. by clerk in hardware store directly across the street from the theater. Theater is gutted and three smaller shops are slightly damaged. Firefighters from Rolesville, New Hope, Youngsville, Bay Leaf, Stony Hill, and Raleigh assist, bringing blaze under control by 11:20 a.m. One fireman is injured, losing tip end of finger when caught in some equipment during the firefighting. Two others are treated for smoke inhalation on scene. (July 1, 1966)

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