“The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place.” ~ Stella Adler ~
If I was to ask you to think of Birmingham and Alabama what would be the first thoughts that crossed your mind?
Unfortunately, for many it would be of images that blazed across newscasts in colorless film almost half a century ago. Many of you sports fans will think of hounds tooth hats and Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and The Alabama Crimson Tide. (As we say here in `Bama, Roll, Tide, Roll!)
Well, my friends, sports aside, not only have times been a changin’, but Birmingham and Alabama are not wastelands void of art and culture.
Take today’s picture of the day…
Over the weekend my most talented, and adorable niece had a dance recital and it just so happened to be held at the renowned Alabama Theatre. I had been to the Alabama a few times. You can’t live in Birmingham and not step inside it’s grand interior at least once in your lifetime. It was Tall & Handsome’s first time, and now he’s one southwestern cowboy ready to go back and attend some of the events held at the Alabama. He said it reminded him of Saturday at the movies when he was a kid.
The Alabama was built in 1927 by Paramount Studios to be one of their flagship movie palaces in the southern district of the USA. Built in the days of silent film, a Crawford Special-Publix One Mighty Wurlitzer organ was installed to provide mood music for the old silent films. There were 25 built in the US at the time. The one at the Alabama in only one of three still at its original location. Originally a 20 pipe organ, 9 pipes were added later making it a 29 pipe organ. If you look at today’s picture, to the right and left of the stage are areas that look similar to balconies. They are actually organ screens.
Add to the whole experience the addition of the sidewalk full of “stars of Alabama” in front of the theatre and you soon feel like you stepped back in time. For just a brief moment you would not be shocked if you looked up and saw flappers walking down the sidewalk and Model – T autos in the street.
Theatres are like that…they are places of seeing whole different worlds…
© 2013 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.