On this day in Alabama history: Birmingham’s Alabama Theatre opened

On this day in Alabama history: Birmingham’s Alabama Theatre opened
Historic American Buildings Survey drawing of the Alabama Theatre, Birmingham. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

December 26, 1927

The Alabama Theatre opened in Birmingham to a capacity audience of 2,585 for a showing of the Paramount comedy The Spotlight, starring Neil Hamilton and Ester Ralston. Dubbed the “Showplace of the South,” the movie palace featured an elaborate style of architecture and interior design meant to inspire awe. Features included a 70-foot-high gold-domed auditorium illuminated by more than 15,000 light bulbs, a star-shaped chandelier bearing more than 8,000 crystals, and the massive Wurlitzer organ known as Big Bertha. The theatre is best known, however, for its 60-foot neon and fluorescent “ALABAMA” sign. Today, the theatre as a 2,200-seat performing arts venue, hosting more than 300 events annually.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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