Indy Weekly is reporting that the Varsity Theater is going to stop showing movies, starting on Friday. One of the comments is one that I agree with, saying that the Varsity has never really known what kind of theater it wants to be. It tries to show all sorts of movies that college kids might want to see, but thats not how I think of it. Most people seem to think of the Varsity as an art movie theater; whenever there is a mainstream movie, like The Hangover, which is playing there now, I would think of Southpoint Cinemas well before I thought of the Varsity. Unless you’re checking the schedule regularly, you automatically think of a regular big theater for those sorts of movies, rather than something like the Varsity.
However, the Varisty could have thrived by turning into something different than just a regular movie theater. They could have embraced art movies, had partnership events with various UNC groups, served beer, turned into a dinner theater, offered anything else. But they were never going to win by showing the same sorts of movies that regular movie theaters show. And now they’re going to be gone and that makes me sad, because I really like the Varsity. Maybe it will reopen with a new business plan, instead of standing empty and sad.