Nadeau Furniture is making a BIG move in Homewood—although they’re not moving far. The home furnishings store will be moving down the street to the former Cahaba Cycles space along 18th Street South in Homewood later this year. Keep reading to learn more about the move!
Cahaba Cycles vacates long-time location in Homewood
Since 2011, Cahaba Cycles has been a staple of downtown Homewood.
Formerly located at 2834 18th Street South, the Birmingham-based chain of retail bicycle stores is a favorite of local cyclists, both pros and novices. The chain continued the legacy of the long-lasting Homewood Cycle and Fitness, which operated in the space from around 1965 to 2011.
In July of 2021, Cahaba Cycles announced their plans to relocate to a new mixed-use development at the former Jim & Jim’s Auto Shop in Homewood. After Cahaba Cycles moved out of their long-time home in December, the building owners began renovating the space for their next tenant.
A historic building in Downtown Homewood
Although the building has been home to a cycle shop for nearly six decades, it was originally designed as a movie theater! Named the Homewood Theater (or Theatre in some references), this picture house opened in the late 1920s and was an immediate hit to the residents of the newly-incorporated city of Homewood.
According to BhamWiki, the Homewood Theater was renovated in 1941 with an eye-catching opaque glass and stucco facade and popular 2-person “love seats”—perfect for a date at the movies! Back then, tickets were a whopping 20 cents for adults.
After the theater closed its doors in the 1960s, Homewood resident Mr. Walter Busenlehner purchased the building—as well as the adjacent building—for his business, Homewood Cycle and Hobby Shop. In later years, Mr. Busenlehner separated the businesses into two entities: Homewood Cycle and Fitness, and Homewood Toy & Hobby Shop.
New Life for Former Cahaba Cycles Space
Cahaba Cycles’ recent move was the perfect opportunity for Mr. Busenlehner to conduct some necessary TLC and upgrades to the space before leasing it to a new tenant.
“Initially, the plan was to only renovate a small area to accommodate for a new wheelchair accessible restroom. However, the more we started looking at it, we realized it was going to require much more to be in compliance with current building codes and standards. We were on the fence for a while about how to proceed until we finally took a peek above the existing drop ceiling. It was at that moment when we knew exactly what needed to be done. The aesthetic factor was already there, it just needed to be revealed. Thus, our preservation project was born.”Cliff Murphy, Project Manager, Powers & Associates General Contractor, Inc
Since December, Mr. Busenlehner and general contractor Powers & Associates have made tremendous strides on the renovation, including:
- Removing old equipment from the rear facade
- Replacing the roof
- Removing the drop ceiling, interior walls and multiple layers of flooring
- Framed up new walls for the proposed buildout
Once complete, the space will include a new loading ramp, 2 new accessible restrooms and an upper level office overlooking the floor below. However, the majority of the space will remain open for Nadeau Furniture to utilize as per their needs.
According to Powers & Associates, Nadeau Furniture will be moving into the space once renovations are complete, which is scheduled for March 1st.
“One of the main considerations in our design and preservation efforts was for the building to ultimately be added to the national register of historic places. Although it won’t be restored back to its original glory as a theater, when we are finished there won’t be any question for what it once was. From the original ceiling framework and lighting to the mosaic floor tile and silhouette of the projector room, this space will truly be a spectacular venue worth checking out. We are even planning to incorporate an old projector from the 1940s if we can find someone to donate.”Cliff Murphy, Project Manager, Powers & Associates General Contractor, Inc
In addition, the renovation crew is collecting any historical information—photos, articles, stories and more—about the historic Homewood Theater and would love to hear anyone’s experiences in the old picture house.
Excited to see this historic building in Homewood receive a new lease on life? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know!