New cinema arrives at historic Birmingham Steam Power Station property

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – A historic steam power station building in Birmingham city center will soon be developed with plans for a cinema.

At an event Thursday, Orchestra Partners announced plans for an Alamo Drafthouse theater to be the building’s anchor tenant.

The Texas-based company operates 37 theaters across the country. Birmingham will be the first location in the Deep South.

“We plan to put between 8 and 10 screens, theater screens in this building. About 700 to 750 seats,” said Rock Ridge Principals and Alamo Drafthouse partner John Partner.

In addition to movies, the building will also feature restaurants and bars. The developers plan to retain as much of the original masonry as possible.

“When you walk in, you’ll feel like you’re in a real century-old steam factory, but with a new reuse of a theater,” Martin said.

Birmingham City Councilors were also present for Thursday’s announcement. Councilor Darrell O’Quinn reflected on the history of the building.

“It was really the first engine in the city that propelled Birmingham when it started,” O’Quinn said.

City leaders hope the new project will attract even more visitors to downtown. The Steam Plant property is located between other attractions like Railroad Park and the Rotary Trail.

“It’s something that Birmingham has been dreaming about for decades, how to reuse Powell’s steam plant and make it something that’s a real piece of equipment with all of its history for the whole city,” O’Quinn said.

According to a press release from Orchestra Partners, redevelopment plans include a mixed-use entertainment venue for movies, music, events, retail and restaurants.

Adjacent land could also include a hotel and apartments, the company wrote. Plans call for the project to be completed by the end of 2023.

Comments are closed.