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The Attic Collection

In May of 2015, Tom Haines and Joe Tronto ‘76 donated material related to the Attic Nightclub to the University Archives. Born in Endicott, NY, Haines earned a marketing degree from Gannon University (Pa) in 1967. He was soon drafted into the Army, where he served with the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam. Upon completion of his tour of duty, he was discharged and enrolled in East Carolina University, in the fall of 1969. His hand-drawn application to the School of Art was personally accepted by the school’s dean, Wellington Gray.

By 1970, out-of-state tuition nearly tripled, forcing Haines to begin thinking about earning more money. He leased and overhauled the recently closed Id nightclub and Fiddler’s Three restaurant on Fifth Street downtown. Along with two Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers, Haines overhauled the space and opened the doors to The Attic on Friday, September 7, 1971.

For the next thirty plus years, Haines along with a management crew of numerous East Carolina students, hosted nearly two million guests from an eclectic range of entertainers including musicians, comedians, and other variety shows. Many legendary artists including Greg Allman, The Pointer Sisters, Widespread Panic, Hootie and the Blowfish, The Chairmen of the Board, and The Ramones delighted audiences with their music. Comedians including Carrot Top and Steve Harvey brought laughs as part of the featured Comedy Zone series.

This exhibit will feature photographs, memorabilia, and video recordings from the collection and will be available soon. Please contact University Archives to learn more about this collection or to share your own memories of The Attic. Visitors to Joyner Library’s Special Collections are also invited to view the material in our 3rd floor Research Room.