The Sunrise Theater is launching a Virtual Cinema to offer new films in the safety and comfort of the home while also supporting the historic theater. “We are partnering with several studios to bring entertainment to our community,” said MaryBeth Poplyk, Sunrise Theater Executive Director.  “Many of the films were already scheduled to be shown in the theater in April and May so we see this as a good alternative.”

“Our beloved community theater is taking a major financial bruising from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Geoff Cutler, President of the Sunrise Preservation Group. The Sunrise Theater temporarily closed on March 15. Since then, events have been rescheduled when possible. With the closing of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Sunrise was forced to cancel Met simulcasts which the theater traditionally counts on as a significant form of revenue. “The longer we are forced to keep our doors closed, the more severe the financial impact will be, making it difficult to bounce back when this nightmare finally ends,” Geoff added.

The Virtual Cinema will provide some much-needed funds for the Sunrise while also providing much-needed entertainment for the community. Films can be accessed with a click of a button from the theater’s website ( Each rental is $12, and half of that fee will support the Sunrise.

The first two films to be “playing” at the Sunrise are Once Were Brothers and The Woman Who Loves Giraffes.  Films can be viewed on computers, tablets, and smartphones. Tech savvy viewers can also link to their TVs.

More information on the films and the Virtual Cinema experience is available on the Sunrise website. Donations to the Sunrise can also be made on their website or by mail to The Sunrise Preservation Group, 244 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines, NC 28387.

The Sunrise Theater is a thriving entertainment center featuring first run and independent films, music concerts, local theater, and live broadcasts of the Met Opera and Bolshoi Ballet. The Sunrise Theater continues to be the cornerstone of theater arts and entertainment in the North Carolina Sandhills dedicated to serving the community.

The Sunrise Theater (The Sunrise Preservation Group, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt, Non-Profit Organization. Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.