The Old Theater In The News

The Old Theater Presents Jonathan Blanchard

Jonathan Blanchard
Vocalist and Performer
Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 7:30 PM

Tickets $25 ($20 for members, military, and students) on sale now online, Nautical Wheelers in Oriental, and the Old Theater Box Office on the night of performance.

Jonathan Blanchard brings an electrifying concert and storytelling experience to The Old Theater Saturday night, May 21st. Along with his band, Blanchard chronicles the evolution of African American music from inspirational field songs to gospel, jazz, R&B, blues, funk, and hip hop. This soul singer, actor, songwriter, and performer is heavily influenced by artists who preceded him such as Earth Wind and Fire, The Bar-Kays, and W.C. Handy. Blanchard’s soulful delivery of music has a seductive sound reminiscent of artists such as Barry White, Isaac Hayes, and Nat King Cole. Jonathan Blanchard’s concerts are leaving an indelible impact on audiences across the southeast. This one is a jewel in The Old Theater’s crown.

The Old Theater Box Office opens at 6:30 PM / Doors open at 7:00 PM / Show begins at 7:30 PM

All proceeds go to support The Old Theater Corp., a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

These performances are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and The Old Theater Corp.

Celebrating 76 years at The Old Theater

By Mary Frances Taylor. Published in The Pamlico News, 3/16/2022

Sunday Classic Cinema at The Old Theater

The very first film to ever be shown at The Old Theater was Blue Skies, starring Bing Crosby and Fred Estaire, and the year was 1946. At that time, the name of the theater was Mart Theatre and the cost of a movie ticket was a quarter, candy was a nickle, and popcorn was a dime. Until it closed in the late 1950s, the Mart Theatre was showing films every night of the week. On Sunday and Monday, there was usually a musical or comedy, and on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday a variety of films were shown from drama to detective films. The ever-so-popular cowboy westerns were shown on Friday and Saturday. This historic movie house holds cherished, nostalgic memories for Oriental and it has a most interesting history to tell.

Early movie posters at The Old Theater

Mart Theatre closed in the late 1950’s and the building eventually was used for storage until 1987 when the Pelican Players, a community theater group, rented it for rehearsals and for storingprops, costumes, and sets.In the early 1990s, the Pamlico County Civic and Cultural Center Project was formed to raise funds necessary to purchase the building and renovate it as a performing arts center for live plays, concerts, and films. The residents of Pamlico County raised more than $80,000 to bring the building up to modern systems and county codes with professional lighting and sound systems, stage curtains, and comfortable seating for 150 moviegoers.

In 1992, the Old Theater Corporation was formed to facilitate its use and manage operations with endorsements from county legislators, Pamlico County Schools, Pamlico Community College, and the Pamlico Arts Council. The theater reopened to the public on March 15, 1995. In 2007, the Old Theater Corp. added a motorized movie screen and projection equipment so that classic movies and new releases could be shown on the large screen.

The Old Theater

Today the Old Theater Corp. owns and manages the theater through a Board of Directors comprised of community volunteers whose mission is to ensure that Pamlico County and the town of Oriental have a venue for civic and cultural events. The theater provides a broad range of theater-sponsored events such as films, live plays, performing artists, and fundraising events and is available for use by civic, business, club and charity organizations as well as children’s programs and workshops. Ongoing partners with the theater include the Pamlico Musical Society, Children’s Theater Workshop, Community Band, and Pamlico Chorale to name a few. Beginning in April, the theater will be the location of Arapahoe Charter School theater productions.

During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, when the theater was forced to close its doors for a period, renovations were made to the inside which included new stage curtains and a professional-grade air purifying system. Maintenance and improvements of the Old Theater depend on the ongoing support and participation of individual contributors, community businesses, service organizations, grants and folk who volunteer on stage and behind the scenes. It also depends on successful membership drives, leasing income, ticket sales and dedicated service of volunteers who keep the facility running.

The OTC Annual membership Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 22, 2022, at 6:30 PM. New members will be accepted before the program begins. The President, Izzy Keppner, will give an overview of the year’s activities and a look at future projects. There will be a treasurer’s accounting of finances and an unveiling of the new OTC website. Some positions on the Board of Directors are open and volunteers are welcome to apply.

The Old Theater Corp. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization accepting new members and donations online at or by check mailed to P.O. Box 521, Oriental, NC 28571. Community support is always appreciated.

Board of Directors Vacancies

The Old Theater Board of Directors in Oriental is seeking volunteer board members to fill current and upcoming vacancies. If you are new to the county and looking to get involved, this is your opportunity. Eligible candidates live in Pamlico County, have an interest in theater, have experience with Microsoft Office and Google, enjoy meeting people and being part of a great team helping to bring the performing arts to the people of Pamlico County. Board Terms are three years.

Openings include:

  • Vice President, responsible for setting up leases and managing the shared electronic events calendar. The Vice President is also the lead for The Old Theater's Fundraisers.

  • House Manager & Ticket Master, responsible for overseeing volunteer staff at events, and tracking ticket sales and box office.

If you are interested in joining The Old Theater team, please email us at or call (252) 249-0477 to discuss further. We look forward to hearing from you.

Izzy Keppner

President, Old Theater Corporation

The Old Theater Launches Sunday Classic Cinema

Sunday Classic Cinema at The Old Theater

Friday Flicks began 20 years ago at The Old Theater with an idea, a donated projector, and free popcorn. Over the years it was the place to gather on the third Friday of the month to have a beverage, enjoy candy and free popcorn, Flash Gordon or cartoons and a movie. Friday Flicks filled a void in the local entertainment opportunities.

The Old Theater has tried to keep up by showing newly released movies, a variety of family and holiday movies to attract more of an audience. While there is still a loyal audience, the overall numbers have dropped even before Covid-19.

With the popularity of online streaming and the increased number of Oriental venues providing Friday night entertainment, Friday Flicks can no longer compete. Therefore, the Board of Directors has made the tough decision to discontinue Friday Flicks, effective immediately. There is no matinee on Sunday, January 9th.

The Old Theater will launch Sunday Classic Cinema on a trial basis through the end of our season in May. At 3:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoons, Flash Gordon and classic movies from the public domain will be shown for a $6.00 ticket. Free popcorn, plus soft drinks and bottled water by donation will be available. No outside food or drink please by order of the state. Sunday Classic Cinema will continue, if there is enough attendance to justify it. We will continue to comply with State and local Covid-19 guidance. Just a reminder that the Old Theater installed professional grade air purifiers in September, which are fully operational at all times.

Please join us at 3:00 p.m. for Sunday Classic Cinema in 2022:

  • March 20: His Girl Friday (1940)
  • April 17: Road to Bali (1952)
  • May 15: McClintock (1963)


Oriental’s Old Theater first opened its doors as a movie theater in 1946, and served as a social entertainment center until the late 50s. It was revitalized and reopened in 1995, providing a venue where performing arts can thrive in Pamlico County.

The Old Theater is owned and managed by the Old Theater Corporation, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All memberships and donations are tax deductible. Its Board is comprised of Pamlico County volunteers whose mission is to ensure that Pamlico County and the town of Oriental has a venue for civic and cultural events. The ability to achieve this mission depends on the ongoing support and participation of individuals, businesses, service organizations, grants and volunteers on stage and behind the scenes.

Thanks to the generosity of people like YOU, significant improvements have been accomplished over the past few years. A successful 2022 membership drive will enable us to continue needed improvements and the variety of entertainment our community has come to enjoy.

We need and welcome your financial support and look forward to hearing from you. If you are a current member of the Old Theater, we thank you again for your generous support and hope we can count on it for 2022. If you are a new member for 2022, thank you and welcome! We look forward to seeing everyone throughout the coming year.

For more information email To join now, click HERE: 2022 Membership Form

Let the show go on …

Izzy Keppner, President Andrea Bayard, Membership & Volunteer Manager

Volunteers are the life blood of our organization. Please consider volunteering your time and talents so the Old Theater may continue being the “center stage” in Pamlico County.

WELCOME 2022 Members!

Re-Opening The Old Theater for the 2021-2022 Season

The Old Theater continues to follow the state and local guidance regarding the Covid-19 virus.

Shows are subject to change and cancellation, based on Covid-19 guidance. The safety and health of our community are paramount and we thank you for your understanding.

Through collaboration with Pamlico Musical Society and grant funding we have installed commercial air purifiers in The Old Theater for the comfort and safety of our patrons. Please direct any questions about other events to the organization hosting that event.

The Old Theater is providing outdoor entertainment in collaboration with The Silos Restaurant in Oriental

The Old Theater’s Summer Outdoor Cinema, in Collaboration with the Silos in Oriental, presents:

June 19, 2021 8:30 p.m. - Ghostbusters
July 17, 2021, 8:30 p.m. - Back to The Future
August 21, 2021 8:00 pm. - Lethal Weapon

Admission: by Donation
Location: The Red Rooster behind The Silos Restaurant in Oriental
We continue to follow CDC and State Guidelines regarding COVID-19

Ghostbusters, Back to The Future: gates open at 8:00 pm. Movie starts at 8:30 pm.
Lethal Weapon: gates open at 7:30 p.m. and Movie starts at 8:00 p.m.
Bring a chair or park your golf cart.
50/50 raffle to benefit the Old Theater
Admission by donation. Includes FREE popcorn.

Dinner and Movie: Have a sit down dinner at The Silos, then walk outside and watch a movie under the stars at the Red Rooster. Cash bar available with beer, wine, soft drinks. No outside food or beverages please, by order of the state.

The Silos also has their regular menu available for take-out via Chow Now app.

All proceeds from ticket donations and the 50/50 raffle will go to benefit the Old Theater, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, located at 609 Broad Street in Oriental, NC.

Ghostbusters Trailer:
Back to the Future Trailer:
Lethal Weapon Trailer:

Thank you members for your continued support!

The Old Theater

609 Broad Street

Oriental, NC 28571

(252) 249 – 0477

Designed & developed in North Carolina by Steven Loe