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Tag: alabama theatre

Welcome to Birmingham!

            We’re so excited you decided on Birmingham for your new home. This city we love has so much to offer from food to the great outdoors. We know it’s not easy being in a new city so we’ve pulled together a guide of our favorite local spots. Enjoy!

Food

Highlands Bar & Grill

Recently named “Most Outstanding Restaurant in America,” this is an iconic Birmingham spot. Don’t forget to try the award winning coconut cake while you’re there!

Chez FonFon

Another charming Frank Stitt spot. Slightly more relaxed atmosphere and excellent French inspired cuisine.

Hot and Hot Fish Club

Classic Birmingham. We recommend sitting at the chef’s table for the full experience.

Jack Browns

Although Birmingham has some outstanding burgers, Jack Browns is arguably one of the best. The extensive beer offering, secret sauce and outrageous burger selections (try one with mac and cheese or peanut butter) make this spot unlike any other.

Fancy’s on 5th

Another great spot to grab an out-of-the-ordinary burger, or oysters. Fancy’s often has live music on the patio and a creative cocktail menu that never disappoints.

El Barrio

The best Mexican food in town. Try their seasonal guacamole and margarita for a real taste of something different!

Bamboo on 2nd

Right across the street from El Barrio, downtown. You won’t find more delicious sushi!

The Essential

This charming new spot on Morris Ave is known for their homemade pop tarts but don’t miss out on their lunch and dinner menus!

Bottega

Dine on the casual side, formal side or al fresco. Bottega is a classic Highland Park spot with a little something for everyone.

Hotbox

A unique dinning experience – don’t let the airstream and low key atmosphere fool you, this food is no joke

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Drinks

Breweries

The Bham beer scene is pretty strong. Head to Good People before a Barons game, take your dog to Avondale or try out the new Back Forty. Did we mention Trim Tab, Cahaba, Ghost Train and Red Hills? Explore multiple stops in one afternoon when you book a Pedal Tour.

The Collins Bar

Let these mixologists create the cocktail you never knew existed and play a few board games while you wait. This is a great spot to grab a drink after work.

The Atomic

Take a time machine back to the 1960’s at this downtown bar. You can even choose a costume off the costume menu. It’s a unique cocktail experience to say the least.

Brat Brot

Birmingham’s first German biergarten. The indoor/outdoor space is uniquely charming and offers bocce and fire pits. Enjoy both German and local beers as well as German food selections.

Lou’s

It might not look like much but you’ll feel right at home with the friendly and knowledgeable staff. Don’t forget to play a round of Yahtzi for a chance to win some cash!

Marble Ring/Zeldas

Birmingham’s 1920’s speakeasy experience. Enter through a phone booth in Hot Diggity Dog’s and enjoy a throwback to the flapper era. Now you can enjoy a glitter themed dance floor out on the patio at Zeldas!

Moon shine

This rooftop bar can be found at the top of The Elyton Hotel. Comfortable seating and great view make this is laid back spot to catch up with friends.

Pilcrow

Coming soon to Morris Ave, we can’t wait to try out this Mezcal speakeasy! A first for Birmingham!

Music & Entertainment

Iron City

This restaurant and event space doubles as a concert venue and when they’re not hosting live music, they’re offering family friendly events, sports viewing parties and more.

Saturn

Coffee shop, bar, concert venue and all around entertainment center thanks to their selection of board and video games. There’s constantly something fun going on here.

Alabama Theatre

This Birmingham landmark offers plays, concerts, and even movie nights! Catch a different Christmas movie every night of the week during December!

Lyric Theatre

The oldest theatre in Birmingham has been restored and is used for concerts, ballets and entertainment of all kinds!

Outdoors

Rufner Mountain

Get some fresh air and hike the beautiful trails of this nature preserve. You can also enjoy family and community events a couple times a month at the nature center.

Railroad Park

This 8-block green space in the heart of the city is a great place to spend time outdoors. Enjoy free exercise classes, summer concerts and ice skating in the winter.

Vulcan Trail

This two mile trail has been recently expanded and leads straight to The Vulcan and Vulcan museum.

Zyp Bikes

The easiest and most affordable way to get around the downtown area. You can rent a Zyp bike at one location and return it to another.

Rotary Trail

A nod to Birmingham’s history, this is a great place in the city to take a stroll!

Celebrate the Seasoon with Birmingham Holiday Events

Birmingham holiday events at the Alabama Theatre

Birmingham holiday events at the Alabama Theatre

We like to combine our modern holiday reveling with a solid dose of nostalgia. So our recommended Birmingham holiday events combine things we love about the city right now with the warm patina of the past. Classics new and old that make our city come alive. Below is a quick roundup, but check back Wednesday and Saturday for two more events that have garnered their own individual posts.

Alabama Theatre Holiday Series

This film series will probably show up on every holiday series we ever do. It’s simply that magical. Old Hollywood glam meets holiday cheer? Our answer is always yes.

Wacky Tacky Christmas Light Tour

Sure, you could drive around and see plenty of Christmas lights on your own schedule, but why not make a Birmingham party of it? One tour ticket supports two worthy causes: science camps for kids and a willing audience for light enthusiasts. “If you get up and add 60,000 lights off of your roof, you are not cursed with shyness,” tour creator and Fresh Air Family executive director Verna Gates told us last year. “You want people to come.”

It’s Not the Mall Y’all

This Naked Art Gallery event offers plenty of worthwhile shopping, of course–the event theme is “procrastinators, unite!”–but our favorite element is the annual “Kitschmas booth” photo op. Sure, you could make photos with Santa your holiday tradition, but this looks more fun, no?

A Christmas Story: The Musical

You’ve seen the movie a million times, but we bet you haven’t seen the musical–the Virginia Samford Theatre swears their production is the first in Alabama. Why not try this new spin on an old favorite, and enjoy this theatre nestled in a Highland Park.

Red Mountain Cabaret Theatre’s Holiday Spectacular

RMTC Conservatory students perform alongside Birmingham’s best local artists to warm your heart and set the stage for a magical holiday season!” according the event description. Trailers from previous years remind us of a variety-style TV holiday special but live, and enjoyed from our very own theatre district.

Bham Events: Holiday Spirit at the Alabama Theatre

alabama theatre holiday film series

 

In an age of Netflix and on-demand everything, it would be easy to wonder why the Holiday Film Series at the Alabama Theatre endures. It requires getting out of the house, after all, and out of your favorite loungewear. It requires a sense of occasion that we no longer associate with the movie experience. But if the holiday season is about anything, it’s a sense of occasion. A sense that there’s something special — dare we say magical — about the way sparkling lights brighten our shorter, darker days.

A good holiday film succeeds by embracing the power of Christmas cheer to offset the colder realities of our day-to-day lives. Consider the two most shown movies of the series: Elf and White Christmas. In Elf, wrote Roger Ebert after its 2003 release:

The whole world has grown too cynical, which is why Santa is facing an energy crisis this year. His sleigh is powered by faith, and if enough people don’t believe in Santa Claus, it can’t fly. That leads to one of those scenes where a flying machine … tries to fly and doesn’t seem to be able to achieve takeoff velocity, and … well, it would be a terrible thing if Santa were to go down in flames, so let’s hope Buddy persuades enough people to believe.

White Christmas is, arguably, the more realistic tale. Its focus is on the power of a good, old-fashioned show by friends old and new to save an unseasonably warm Christmas. Like Elf, though, White Christmas celebrates the magic of community, the more metaphorical of holiday lights. Both films hold up the people who make repeat appearances in our lives, the ones we discover along the way, and the pulling-together spirit that makes it all work.

And the Alabama Theatre is the perfect place to watch them. Saved by an unlikely cast of organists, its own preservation story reads like the plot of a classic Christmas movie. No roped-off museum piece, it has once again become a magical movie palace with an enduring community life.

Holidays at the Alabama Theatre represent everything we love most about our Loft District. It isn’t just a place for looking back but for embracing the Birmingham we have right now, and appreciating each incarnation of its magic.

Bham Events: St. Paul & the Broken Bones at the Alabama Theatre

We are beyond stoked about St. Paul & the Broken Bones’ return to the Birmingham music scene this week (their last Magic City show was at Workplay in December 2013). Since then, they’ve toured, released an album, and generated national excitement about their new brand of Alabama sound.

The band topped Billboard’s Next Big Sound chart – based on analytics of an artists’ popularity across music and social platforms – less than a month after releasing their first album. And NPR, our personal arbiter of all things cool, featured them on its First Listen series with a glowing review.

Image via St. Paul & the Broken Bones

They generated plenty of local excitement too, selling out their first-announced show (November 13th) and adding a second “due to overwhelming demand.”  “Not sure there’s much else to say about St. Paul & the Broken Bones at this point. Went from #Secret Stages to the @ALTheatre in two years,” tweeted local writer Jeremy Burgess in June.

Both NPR reviewer Ann Powers and Single Lock Records co-founder John Paul White describe the band’s sound in terms of tradition (soul and Shoals) mixed with something inextricably modern. “Soul scholars will chase the references from Memphis to Motown and back, but the feeling belongs to these six young men, right now,” Powers wrote. And with that musical profile, we’re extra excited they’re playing the Alabama Theatre. It’s the perfect venue for throwback artists who are more than their retro roots.

Built in 1927, the Alabama has hosted everything from the Alabama Ballet to Willie Nelson to the world’s largest Mickey Mouse Club. It features some of Birmingham’s most decadent, most Hollywood interiors, and its Mighty Wurlitzer organ is one of only 25 Crawford Special – Publix One types ever made. In fact, you could say music is what saved the Alabama.

Image via Butch Oglesby

The Alabama chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society attempted to buy the Mighty Wurlitzer in the 1980s, when the theatre itself was slated to become a parking lot. The organ alone was not for sale, but the entire building was. So organ society members raised funds and community support to save the whole thing.

These days the theatre operates as a performance venue, an event space, and a movie theatre. The only new releases it shows are Sidewalk Film Festival features, effectively building the local film industry instead of distributing box office hits. Most of all, we love that the theatre offers events for just about everyone, without compromising its own special style. That’s probably why the Alabama Architectural Foundation named the Alabama Theatre its 2011 Building of the Year – “presented to the one building statewide that best exemplifies how architecture can provide a meaningful impact on the citizens of Alabama in the past, present and future.”

Image via the Alabama Theatre

We can’t wait for the St. Paul & the Broken Bones show in our future. Band organist Al Gamble says we can “expect to see a man sporting white shoes and a bow tie singing his butt of just for you.” 

Alabama, y’all. You just can’t stop the magic.