Homewood Theatre (cinema)
- This article is about the former cinema. For the community theater group, see Homewood Theatre.
The Homewood Theatre (once called the Royal Theater) was a small movie theater located at 2834 18th Street South in downtown Homewood. Its precise construction and opening dates are not known, but it is believed to have opened shortly after the city was incorporated in 1927.
The theater was expanded and remodeled in 1941 by the Waters Theater Company. When it reopened on Thursday, April 3, it could accommodate 750 patrons and boasted a streamlined opaque glass (Vitrolite) and stucco facade. Wilmot Douglas was the architect for the renovations, which were executed by contractor Thomas Brasfield. A highlight of the new auditorium was the provision of 2-person "love seats". Adult tickets were 20¢ and children were admitted for 10¢. The feature film screened on that first evening was "The Mark of Zorro" starring Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell.
The theater accommodated African-American patrons in the balcony. Blacks used a separate entrance to the single box office, then climbed stairs to the balcony. With no access to the concession stands, black customers would often come downstairs and ask white patrons to buy drinks and snacks for them.
The theater was closed in the late 1950s, then operated briefly as an "art theater" (playing more risqué European films) before it closed for good around 1963. Walter Busenlehner purchased the vacant building for his Homewood Cycle & Hobby Shop. When Busenlehner divided that business, the former theatre remained the home of Homewood Cycle & Fitness. He sold the business to Faris Malki of Cahaba Cycles in 2011. After Cahaba relocated to the redeveloped former Jim & Jim's Body Shop, Busenlehner worked with Powers & Associates to restore the theater building's original interior proportions.
The Homewood Theatre was depicted in the sixth commemorative ornament created by Don Stewart for the Homewood Chamber of Commerce in 2008.
|2834 18th Street South
Homewood Cycle & Hobby Shop
- "Homewood Theater to open" (January 1941) The Birmingham News via Birmingham Rewound - accessed December 31, 2010
- "Grand Opening Show Of New Homewood Theater Is Scheduled" (April 2, 1941) The Birmingham News
- Summe, Sheryl Spradling. (2001). Homewood: The Life of a City. Homewood, AL: Friends of the Homewood Public Library.
- Bryan, Kim (December 24, 2008) "Homewood's commemorative ornaments now relegated to history." The Birmingham News
- Watson, Nathan (January 25, 2022) "Nadeau Furniture moving to former Cahaba Cycles space, opening Spring 2022." Bham Now
- Homewood Theater at cinematreasures.org
- Alabama: Birmingham historical information at http://hsvmovies.com