BBC News describes how Birmingham’s Lyric Theatre, Alabama Theatre and more are reinventing the city

Screen Shot 2018 10 16 at 5.42.34 AM BBC News describes how Birmingham's Lyric Theatre, Alabama Theatre and more are reinventing the city
Lyric Theatre after re-development. Photo courtesy of Birmingham Landmarks

Birmingham woke up to a pleasant surprise this morning with a featured story by BBC News describing how the restoration of our theatres have  played a role in bringing back the downtown area in the Magic City.

Here is the title and link to the story:

Birmingham, Alabama: A city using theatres to reinvent itself

A Renaissance

Alabama Theatre
Photo of the new ALABAMA sign at the Alabama Theatre on January 1, 2018

BBC News did a deep dive into Birmingham’s Theatre district, guided by Lyric and Alabama Theatres maven Glenny Brock.

Here is an excerpt from the BBC story:

“Its (Birmingham) theatres are undergoing a renaissance.

First came The Lyric, which reopened in 2016 after decades of neglect, then the Alabama Theatre set to work restoring the second of its dazzling, 60ft signs.

Lyric Before and After 1 e1539859351694 BBC News describes how Birmingham's Lyric Theatre, Alabama Theatre and more are reinventing the city

Now work on the art-deco Carver Theatre, which served the African-American community, is also under way.


Birmingham, named after the UK city on account of its industrial aspirations, remains best known for being the centre of the country’s civil rights struggles in the 1950s and 1960s, and that is why the restoration of its past, through a modern lens, is seen as so important.”

Not a Surprise

The profile about Birmingham’s theatres is not a surprise to Bham Now readers. In October 2018, this is what Cheryl Morgan, the legendary former director of  the Auburn University Urban Design Studio had to say about the theatres.

BirminghamTheaters Alabama crButchOglesby edit 1 BBC News describes how Birmingham's Lyric Theatre, Alabama Theatre and more are reinventing the city
The oppulent Alabama Theatre. Via-

The most impactful re-developments do not always have to be something new. The Alabama and Lyric Theatres are being used for what they were originally designed for.

Morgan recognized the importance of the two theatres. “Both of these are showpieces, they are great examples of a time in our city when we invested in and built great buildings. Reinvestment in that heritage and quality building is something to be proud of. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Birmingham Landmarks and Cecil Whitmire for saving the Alabama with a care and integrity that carried over to the exquisite restoration of the Lyric.”

International Recognition

Birmingham Alabama
View of the Birmingham from St. Vincent’s Hospital. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

Birmingham is “on a roll” when it comes to receiving accolades from the news media. Just this week Travel + Leisure published an article that features  Birmingham in a profile about traveling through the state of Alabama.

What makes this most recent story prominent is the fact it is BBC News, one of the world’s most trusted news sources.  That’s a big deal.

Here is Bham Now’s compilation of stories over the past 2 years.


Travel + Leisure – Travel + Leisure took a road trip through Birmingham and Alabama. See what they found.

Conde Nast – Conde Nast declares Birmingham has arrived

Trip Advisor –
Birmingham named ‘up and coming foodie city’

Inc. – 
Birmingham ranks 37 on Inc. 50 Best Places in America for Starting a Business

Wine Enthusiasts – 
National publication Wine Enthusiast features Birmingham’s “top tier” drinking and dining hot spots

Nylon Magazine – 
Birmingham sparks attention

Vogue Magazine’s  
“the South’s Magic City”

Outside Magazine”s
25 Best Towns of 2017 edition.

The New York Times –
“Birmingham is ready to surprise you.”

Washington Post –
“best vacation destinations you’ve never considered” series.

“15 charming cities in the American South you may have overlooked.”


Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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