Lincoln Theater

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The Lincoln Theater was a movie theater which was operated by Sam Raine at 1926 1st Avenue North in Bessemer from 1948 to the 1970s. The 5,000 square foot building, built in 1910, was re-faced in teal and white glazed tile.

Before integration, the theater solely accommodated black audiences. After it closed, the building was used by other businesses. Most recently John Boyd used the auditorium as storage space for his adjoining Economy Clothing & Furniture business.

In July 2012 attorneys Jake Bivona, Bret Gray and Ken Gray incorporated a non-profit organization, the Lincoln Phoenix Project to pursue restoration of the former theater as part of a performing arts center for downtown Bessemer. Board member Kevin Wayne produced and directed a short documentary film about the theater's history and potential reuse.

Actor André Holland purchased the building in 2017, hoping to restore it as a community asset.

References

  • Chambers, Jesse (January 18, 2013) "Bessemer's Lincoln Theatre focus of restoration hopes." The Birmingham News
  • Chambers, Jesse (May 3, 2013) "Efforts to renovate Bessemer's Lincoln Theatre attract filmmaker, may draw grant money." The Birmingham News
  • Baker, Vicky (April 12, 2019) "Birmingham, Alabama: A city using theatres to reinvent itself." BBC.com