Even though it has only been gone since February of this year, we dearly miss the iconic ALABAMA Theatre sign on 3rd Avenue North.
Well, today, September 23, 2019, the first day of Fall, it is back.
Bham Now captured on video this morning, the final A and L being attached to the iconic ALABAMA sign.
A little bit old and a little bit new
According to Larry Donaldson, a Birmingham Landmarks, Inc. board member and organ crew chief, the newly restored ALABAMA sign on 3rd Avenue North has a little bit of the 1957 sign and new and improved 2019 parts.
For example the red border on the sign is from the 1957 sign.
The green on the sign was steel. It has now been replaced with aluminum making the sign much lighter and safer.
The structural steel that held the sign has been replaced with new steel.
The letters were replaced in 2018, so of course they remain.
And finally, the neon has been replaced with LED lights. How many LED light bulbs are contained in the sign…. 960 per side, a total of 1920.
“The new LED is all around the letters plus going down the center. It is going to likely double the brightness than the one on 18th street – which it should be,” stated Donaldson.
“The blade sign at the Alabama Theatre is iconic, not just in Birmingham but in the state,” added Glenny Brock, Outreach Coordinator for Birmingham Landmarks, Inc. “Whenever anyone does a story about anything happening in Alabama, many times the visual they use is the Alabama Theatre sign. It is iconic and we are very proud of it. The Alabama Theatre is the anchor of the Theatre District.”
More restoration work inside
Along with a newly restored sign Brock also outlined additional renovations occurring at the Alabama Theatre.
- Completely re-doing the backstage area to make it more attractive and comfortable for touring artists and musicians from all over the world.
- Putting in new carpet throughout the theatre.
- Enhancing the sound and lighting system.
- Adding 20 toilets to the women’s lounge downstairs. For 92 years there have only been 5 toilets in the women’s lounge!
More than preservation, a working venue
“We have never done preservation for preservation’s sake,” concluded Brock. “We have done preservation to make these working venues. The mission of Birmingham Landmarks is to preserve and protect these two theatres and historic buildings for the use and enjoyment of Alabama citizens and their descendents. We take that mission very seriously. This is not a fancy museum piece, we are making a vibrant anchor for this community.”
How to support the Alabama and Lyric Theatres
Want to support both the Alabama Theatre and Lyric Theatre? Become a Showplace Society member. Members receive exclusive pre-sale codes and other benefits.
Or, even better, give to the endowment.