Sidewalk Cinema and Film Center to receive $200,000 from City of Birmingham

Pretty soon we’ll be enjoying some popcorn and watching our favorite upcoming indie films. (Photo via Sidewalk Film Festival)

The Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema is getting a financial boost from the City of Birmingham. Find out how the year-round cinema and educational space currently under construction in downtown Birmingham will use the money to better the fine arts community!

The Birmingham City Council approved $200,000 in funding Tuesday, April 23 for the Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema. (Photo via Sidewalk Film Festival)
The Birmingham City Council approved $200,000 in funding Tuesday, April 23 for the Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema. (Photo via Sidewalk Film Festival)

Council Approves 💰 for 📽️

On Tuesday, April 23, the Birmingham City Council approved $200,000 in funding for the cinema bringing indie films back to the big screen in Birmingham. The money will put the project closer to the $5 million fundraising goal.

“The intent is to provide year-round programming and operations, allowing Sidewalk and the City to attract visitors from outside the area while providing quality entertainment to the citizens of the City,” the agreement reads.

Check out the Sidewalk Cinema floor plan! (Photo via Sidewalk)
Check out the Sidewalk Cinema floor plan! (Photo via Sidewalk)

The City Council isn’t the first local government to recognize the importance of welcoming a permanent Sidewalk location to our community. In 2018, Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema secured $200,000 in funding from Jefferson County.

Local lawmakers know the permanent location will mean big things for Birmingham. Once opened, the venue is expected to bring in:

  • Over $1 million in sales revenue
  • Over $100k in local sales tax annually, noted in their campaign packet
  • Increased foot traffic downtown
  • More attention to the growing Alabama independent film industry

Bring on the spotlight!

Sidewalk Cinema is coming soon! (Photo by Lauren Bedford for Bham Now)
Sidewalk Cinema is coming soon! (Photo by Lauren Bedford for Bham Now)

According to the Birmingham City Council agreement, Sidewalk will oversee operations and keep the doors open for filmmakers, students and the community at large to use for film projects. The cinema will also serve as an event space.

About the Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema

The 11,400 sq. ft. space will include two theaters, a flexible education space, lounge and up-scale concessions in the basement space now under construction in the recently renovated (and absolutely stunning!) Pizitz building.

The Sidewalk Cinema bar will be 24 feet long and will have wine, craft beer, and cocktail options. (Photo via Sidewalk)
The Sidewalk Cinema bar will be 24 feet long and will have wine, craft beer, and cocktail options. (Photo via Sidewalk)

The ceremonial groundbreaking for the space in the Pizitz was held in January 2019.

Construction is set to finish u in June of this year, just in time for the wildly successful and internationally-renowned Sidewalk Film Festival. The 21st annual event will take place August 19–23 in the Sidewalk space and around downtown Birmingham.

The groundbreaking of the Sidewalk Film theater in January 2019
The groundbreaking of the Sidewalk Film theater in January 2019. (Photo by Lauren Bedford for Bham Now)

Two thumbs up for the additional funding from the City of Birmingham! The Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema will be a valuable addition to the downtown area!