Sanford, North Carolina
The Temple Theatre is an historic performance center in Sanford, Lee County, North Carolina. The Temple Theatre was built in 1925 by Robert Ingram, Sr. (owner of the Sanford Coca-Cola Bottling Company), at a time when Sanford had a population of only 3,500. The name "Temple" comes from being located next door to what was once Sanford's Masonic Lodge. The following quote ran in a 1925 issue of the Sanford Express, "In erecting this modern theater, he has spared no expense to make it an up-to-date playhouse." It is a 50 feet wide-by-92 feet deep, two-story, brick building decorated with cut stone details in a blend of Colonial Revival and Art Deco styles.
For several decades, the Temple served as Lee County, North Carolina's principal seat of entertainment. Located half a block from the railroad station, the Temple was a frequent for the shows and stars of Vaudeville. Years later, the Temple became a touring house for the road shows of the 1930s (including burlesque), and then a movie theater. During the 1960s, the Sanford Little Theatre and the Footlight Players used the Temple for their community productions. In 1965, the Temple Theatre closed.
The rebirth of the Temple Theatre began in 1981 when Mr. Robert Ingram, Jr., the son of the theatre's original owner, donated the building to the citizens of Lee County.
1 Investigation at this location: