The Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater is a beautifully-restored treasure listed on the National Register of Historic Places that offers visitors a unique and visually stunning experience. The theater is located at 315 North Chestnut Street in the heart of downtown Lumberton. First opened in 1928 as a vaudeville and silent film house, the theater offers a wide array of programming including live touring performances, original productions, art exhibits, films, special events and rentals.

A Night of Silent Film and Organ Music with Mark Andersen

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A Night of Silent Film and Organ Music with Mark Andersen


A Fundraiser for the Robeson County Arts Council

The theater’s “Mighty Morton” organ is featured during a special evening of new and classic silent film as well as nostalgic tunes performed by master musician and composer Mark Andersen.

The performance will start out with the screening of the short film “Applecalypse”, which was created by and stars UNC Chapel Hill film department students. The film, which was scored by Andersen, had its premiere recently at the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro. Director Minh Ngo will be on hand to introduce the film and discuss its process.

The musical part of the program will be “The American Songbook” with music by George Gershwin and Cole Porter. The night ends with the silent short “Laughing Gas” starring Charlie Chaplin and also scored by Andersen.

Admission for this special event is $20 for adults and $15 for students. A portion of the funds for this show will benefit the Robeson County Arts Council.

Tickets can be purchased on-line by going to our web site at  Tickets also can be purchased in-person or with credit card or cash 1 to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday through our administrative offices in the theater’s second floor (enter on Fourth Street side), or by calling the Civic Center at (910) 738-4339. Tickets can also be purchased at the door. Theater lobby box office opens for ticket sales one hour prior to performance.

About Mark Andersen

Mark began his education at Mars Hill College, The Governor’s School for the Performing Arts, and East Carolina University in North Carolina where he studied organ, harp, and flute. His graduate studies carried him to Chicago and the American Conservatory and then on to a full scholarship at the Paris Conservatory where he studied harp with Pierre Jamet, organ with Marcel Dupré, and composition with Nadia Boulanger.  Andersen’s musical compositions have twice won the International Composer’s Competition (1976 and 1999) in Amsterdam, Holland.  In addition to the classical side of Mark’s endeavors he has also written the musical score for several Broadway and Off- Broadway productions including “Widow’s Waltz”, “Best Friends”, and “The Woman They Love to Hate”. His musical scores have also been heard in movies and on television for many years.

Mark has served as church organist to several churches throughout his career. Currently he serves as Director of Music and Organist to Trinity Episcopal Church in Lumberton, NC where he heads a concert series that opens the church to many in the community. Mark also teaches organ students at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke as well as in his own studio.

Dr. Andersen continues as weekly host to “Crescendo!” over Time Warner and Comcast television from New York, Seattle, and North Carolina.

Brief history of the 2/8 Robert Morton Theater Organ

The 2/8 (2 manual/8 rank) Robert Morton Theatre Organ currently residing in the Carolina Civic Center, Lumberton, NC was originally installed in the National Theatre in Greensboro, NC in 1922. A sister organ was installed in the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro around the same time – this organ continues to play in its original setting. In 1939 the Center Theatre opened in downtown Durham and the National organ was relocated to Durham where it lived until 1967 when the Center was demolished. Just a few days before demolition, a group of organ enthusiasts was finally granted permission to remove the organ before the wrecking ball hit. The Morton was saved! The organ then spent several years in the residence of the late Dr. Paul Abernethy in Burlington, NC before he replaced it with a larger instrument.

The smaller organ was stored and found its way to Lumberton during the 1980’s thanks to a lot of work by Piedmont Theatre Organ Society members and the support of the community and the CCC Board of Directors. Funds were raised to purchase a console lift, prepare the chambers in accordance with local fire and building codes, and to complete the installation. The organ has been upgraded to use a computerized relay system to control the several thousand pipes and other devices located in the 2 chambers to the left of the stage.

Time and other factors took their toll on the keyboards, which were original to the 1922 console, which rendered the console inoperable for the last several years. The organ was playable only from the computer for that time period.  In 2015, new keyboards were custom built and installed making the organ playable again by live organists thanks to the CCC and its supporters, especially Mayme and William Tubbs, Mark Andersen and Mac Abernathy.



Date: August 15
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Cost: $15 – $20
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Carolina Civic Center

315 North Chestnut Street
Lumberton, 28358 United States

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Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater