The Turnage Theatre


The iconic Turnage Theatre was originally built as a vaudeville theater in 1913, and named after its owner, C.A. Turnage. Twenty-five years later it became a movie theater.

For nearly 50 years, people flocked to the Turnage Theatre to watch movies. But by the 70’s, other larger movie theaters began to open in eastern North Carolina.

With the neglected theater falling into disrepair, it closed its doors for the first time in 1978. Some 20 years later, a group of historic preservation enthusiasts teamed up with arts advocates to form the non-profit Turnage Theater Foundation. The goal was to acquire and renovate to historically accurate standards the crumbling Turnage.

After an extensive $5 million dollar renovation, the Foundation struggled to repay two million dollars borrowed to complete the process. Increasing costs and dwindling support from individuals and corporate sponsors shuttered the Turnage Theatre again in 2011.

In 2012, the Turnage Theatre building was purchased by the Beaufort County Arts Council now called the Arts of the Pamlico. The Arts of the Pamlico opens the building to offerings Tuesday – Sunday in its beautifully restored 432-seat theater with updated sound and lighting systems, a catering kitchen, an exhibition gallery with revolving fine art and photography exhibits. The Lane Gift Shop showcasing local artists and craftspeople, and the administrative offices of Arts of the Pamlico. The gallery exhibits and the Lane Gift Shop are open to the public during our normal operating hours.Arts of the Pamlico’s facilities are also available for rent. Options include renting only the gallery with catering kitchen – perfect for smaller events such as receptions – or renting the entire building including the Turnage Theatre with a seating capacity of 432. For more information on renting the facilities, click here.

For a complete 360º virtual tour of our facility, please click here.

Here’s a great way to tell your friends about the Turnage Theatre



Most of us mention the Turnage Theatre whenever we’re telling friends and family all about living in Washington, NC.

Here’s a Tri-Fold brochure that you can download as a pdf file to either print or email.

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