The Carolina Theatre

Carolina Theatre, built in 1926, is a historic landmark in the heart of Durham, NC. The theater’s popularity rose quickly in WWII when people needed a distraction. The new cinema wing was built and played its first movie in 1992.


Creative Strategy

150,000 fans and counting. From the sound of that, it seemed like Carolina Theatre was doing just fine. When they came to us, they had one thing on their mind: “with such a beautifully historic building, why isn’t that number higher, a lot higher?” It came down to experience. As a popular concert venue and cinema, the touch points you have with your guests are crucial. Our Creative Strategy gave birth to a tactical plan that addressed the physical location and associated experience first. In sitting down with them, we laid out a plan to idealize their customer experience in concept and implement it in a brick and mortar location. We kept in mind and carefully considered the gap between physical and digital could widen in this process. The second stage was to unify the two: using digital to drive people to the physical and vice versa. By removing any preexisting or newly developed fractures between those two worlds, we could deliver on our promise to provide a customer experience that truly raised the bar.



 What can a beautifully historic building that hosts 150,000+ guests annually do to create a customer experience that will shatter that glass ceiling? 



Simplify. To do this, we needed to redefine the customer journey, making sure every touchpoint made sense sequentially, and then mitigate or remove any pain points that still existed along a guest’s path when interacting with Carolina Theatre. Our method took a physical first approach, then addressed the digital needs.



Look at any welcome  lm that you see when you’re at a movie theater. We started here. We took something boring and (quite frankly) very ‘90s, and elevated it with a riveting and exciting animation. In a very modern way, we elevated the standard movie theater experience to that of an authentic cinema. You go to Carolina Theatre to see a film in comfort, without having to deal with popcorn flying off the screen into your face.


Customer Experience Content

In creating the Welcome animation for Carolina Theatre, we took an approach that focused on the stories and plots of our favorite movies. Each scene bled into each other. This overlap carried across in the soundtrack, composed just for this video. The character animation throughout was used to show simple features. This route enabled us to paint a picture that quickly contextualized our originally scored soundtrack.