The CAMEO Art House Theatre building was home to one of Fayetteville's first motion picture theatres: the New Dixie. Veteran moving picture man S.A. Lambert first bought out the original Dixie in 1908. He moved across the street to the Southside of Hay Street in 1914 and called it the New Dixie. At its opening Mr. Lambert screened 36 moving pictures a week and the New Dixie boasted having 336 fine opera chairs, ten electrical wall lights, and with the exception of a theatre in Highpoint the only mirror screen in North Carolina. Originally a scored stucco building with a large archway facing Hay Street it was given its current brick facade when the adjoining alley was enclosed to make room for Brady's Newsstand. The popularity of the New Dixie lead to the construction of the Broadway and Miracle Theaters which replaced the New Dixie as the state-of-the-art motion pictures houses in Fayetteville. The present CAMEO Theatre Building then hosted many local businesses, most notably Dixie Billiards and Eddie's Music.
Chris & Nasim Kuenzel, and Eric Lindstrom acquired the former Dixie Theater building in 1998. Sharing an interest in art films, architecture and downtown revitalization the three owners worked nights and weekends to create what everyone knows as the CAMEO today. The theater has 125 velvet covered cast iron opera style chairs, Dolby digital sound and projection system, four film screening formats and a lobby lounge where patrons can enjoy a glass of wine, imported beer, cup of coffee or cappuccino. The CAMEO Art House Theatre opened in October of 2000 with a Hollywood style gala to benefit the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County, complete with searchlight, red carpet and limos. And in March of 2003 the CAMEO added a second screen, the Loge, which contains 38 stadium style seats in an intimate screening room on the 2nd floor of the CAMEO building. The building is a mixed-use building, as it incorporates a loft that looks out over the CAMEO marquee to Hay Street. The mixed-use rehabilitation of the CAMEO has been recognized by Preservation North Carolina and in our local media as the "Coolest Place Downtown," The "Best Movie Theater in Fayetteville," the "Best Place to take a Date," and in the program of the 2002 Sundance Film Festival Program.
The CAMEO has screened hundreds of art, independent, foreign and classic films. Our theatre is the site of numerous fundraisers, parties, most notably our annual Academy Awards Celebration to benefit local non-profits.