Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will open first Alabama location in Birmingham

It’s a major tenant slated for Powell Steam Plant development

A rendering of Alamoa Drafthouse Cinema at Birmingham’s Powell Steam Plant. Rendering from Orchestra Partners.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the Texas-based chain featuring movies, food, drinks and retail, will open its first Alabama location at the Powell Steam Plant development.

It’s the first major tenant announcement for the 85,000-square-foot development in Birmingham’s Parkside District.

Developers Orchestra Partners made the announcement today.

“Since announcing redevelopment plans for Powell Steam Plant in November 2019, our goal from day one was to be intentional about finding the right tenant that aligns with the shared vision for this historic property,” said Hunter Renfroe, Orchestra Partners co-founder and principal. “By partnering with a reputable national brand like Alamo Drafthouse, we will pay homage to the steam plant and create a vibrant entertainment destination that attracts more people downtown.”

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has been named the No. 1 theater in America by Entertainment Weekly and the Coolest Movie Theater in the World by Wired. Birmingham moviegoers can expect “an authentic localized experience with an innovative theater design, superior dining experience, local craft beers and specialty cocktails, custom pre-show content, events and more amenities,” according to a press release.

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“We have a tremendous opportunity in Birmingham as this marks Alamo Drafthouse’s first true venture into the Deep South,” said John Martin, partner at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. “Every theater brings a customized approach to appropriately fit the building space and surrounding neighborhood. Powell Steam Plant’s historical value is unlike any theater Alamo has previously converted, which will allow us to emulate this theme throughout every aspect of the cinema experience.”

At 40,000 square feet, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will be the anchor tenant at Powell Steam Plant.

Powell Steam Plant, built in 1895, provided steam and electricity for downtown businesses in Birmingham. It also connected the city by powering its streetcar system, which was essential to the growth of Birmingham. Alabama Power acquired the steam plant in the 1950s and continued operations until 2013.

Construction on Alabama Drafthouse Cinema will begin in summer 2022 with an anticipated opening in fall 2023.

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