On Thursday morning, hundreds of people filled the parking lot outside of Bonefish Grill for an event 50 years in the making: the unearthing of the North Hills time capsule.

The time capsule was buried 50 years ago to celebrate the opening of the Cardinal Theatre. People of all ages attended the long-awaited event. There were adults who remembered the day the time capsule was buried, yelling out explanations of items that were revealed. School-aged children, excited to see relics from another age, scrambled to get a closer look. A.C. Snow, a reporter who wrote a 1967 News & Observer article that was placed inside the time capsule, was on site Thursday to see it unveiled.

Two speakers shared personal stories of how the Cardinal Theatre and the time capsule had shaped their lives. A current Raleigh resident told the story of his father who was born in Raleigh in 1967, the year the time capsule was buried. His father had waited his entire life to see its contents, but just last year, he was diagnosed with ALS and didn’t make it to the event. In his stead, his son attended to see the contents finally revealed.

Raleigh native Peyton Reed’s career was inspired by afternoons spent at the Cardinal Theatre. He fulfilled his dream of becoming a film director, and he’s had this date marked on his calendar for years. Unwilling to miss it, he landed at RDU with 15 minutes to spare.

After the personal stories, the time capsule was opened. John Kane, CEO of Kane Realty and the developer of North Hills, pulled each item out of the container. Items included:

  • A News & Observer newspaper
  • A key to the city from the then-Raleigh mayor
  • Letters with predictions of what life in 2017 would look like
  • Film reels
  • Radio programming
  • Raleigh statistics from 1967

The items were displayed for guests to view after the event, and they’ll be housed at the City of Raleigh Museum. In conjunction with the unearthing, North Hills buried a new time capsule to be opened in another 50 years, filled with items from local students, current retailers, and Triangle sports teams that represent our current time period.