3 things you may not know about Birmingham’s Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema at The Pizitz (GIVEAWAY)


Four members of the Bham Now team seated in the theater.
We’re all low-key obsessed with Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

The Pizitz is one of my favorite places in Birmingham. It’s amazing how much there is to do inside one historic building. You can live and work, enjoy great food and drinks in The Pizitz Food Hall, indulge in some shopping and even see a movie at the newly opened Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema. Pick a film and get your tickets.

You’ve probably heard of the Sidewalk Film Festival. Established in 1999, it’s become one of the top gatherings of filmmakers and film industry professionals in the world. Within 20 years, the Festival also paved the way for the Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema, which opened this September on the lower level of The Pizitz. 

But ICYMI, here’s a few things you should know: 

1. Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema is an actual movie theater

The same four members are still seated in the theater, but the focus is on a bucket of popcorn.
Peep that awesome bucket of popcorn. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema is the real deal. There are 2 different theaters, and each one can seat approximately 90 people, give or take. 

Like any other cinema you visit, you can purchase concessions before the movie starts. Of course, there’s freshly popped popcorn and sodas, but there are also locally made snacks and drinks, too. We’re talking treats from Big Spoon Creamery and sips from Harvest Roots Kombucha and Cahaba Brewing Company, people.

A bartender pulls a draft of Cahaba Beer.
Gotta love when there’s something local on tap. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

This unique independent theater is open 7 days a week, showing all kinds of films. From repertory screenings to special releases, there is a little something for everyone at Sidewalk – even the kiddos! Check out what’s playing, and get your tickets.

2. You don’t have to know anything about filmmaking to enjoy it

Someone shares Skittles with another person in the theater.
Sharing is caring – especially with Skittles. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

When it comes to independent theaters, there is often a misconception that you have to know about film making to enjoy them. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth, especially at Sidewalk. Because in the simplest of terms, Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema is a place for people who like to watch movies and talk about movies.

“You don’t have to know how to make a film to enjoy watching one, just as you don’t have to know how to paint to enjoy a visit to the museum. In fact, part of the fun of watching a great movie is wondering how the filmmakers accomplished what you see on the screen.”

Chloe Cook, Executive Director of Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema
Two different movie posters are shown on the wall.
A little something for everyone. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

There are no prerequisites required. When you want to see a film playing at Sidewalk, the only question you need to answer is this one: Do you like to watch movies? If your answer is “yes,” then pick a film and a time and get your tickets ASAP

3. Sidewalk goes above and beyond the average theater experience

A picture of the menu at Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema's bar.
Decisions, decisions, decisions… Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

What I appreciate most about Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema is that it’s about more than just watching a movie. Sidewalk offers a wide variety of special events that help take you deeper into the cinematic experience. 

For example, there is the Book & Film Club. And true to name, this special club is a combination of the two, uniting book and film lovers for a monthly screening and discussion. During the month of November, club members will read John Singleton Interviews, then watch and discuss the film Boyz N the Hood

Two Bham Now team members are smiling while sipping drinks at the bar.
All smiles at Sidewalk Films Center & Cinema. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

“Both with the Festival and the Cinema, we try to add elements to our screenings, so you’re not just watching a movie but there’s some added element of fun.” 

Chloe Cook
Two glasses clinking together.
Cheers! Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Sidewalk also hosts a number of different education and film-related events such as Screentalks, Salons and even a few Tech & Technique workshops. You can also check out these events, including one night only screenings and a mini-festival that are coming up in the next couple of weeks:

Exceeding your expectations of “dinner and a movie” at The Pizitz

A bag of popcorn.
Movie theater popcorn is always a good idea. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema redefines the dinner and a movie experience in Birmingham. And this incredible venue is just one more inviting reason to spend an evening at The Pizitz. So, check out what’s showing and purchase your tickets.


Don’t miss the Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema giveaway happening on our newsletter on Wednesday, 10/30. You could win a $60 ticket gift certificate AND some Sidewalk swag, including a refillable popcorn bucket, hat and a pint glass. Make sure you’ve subscribed, and good luck!

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