After visiting the Sun Studios on Friday morning and Shiloh on Friday afternoon, we drove to Birmingham, which was the original destination. (Had a friend coming to help me do some serious work on my house. Lives in North Dakota. Traveling by train. Thought he was coming around Aug. 5 or so. Delayed by work on his end and had to push it back about 10 days. Told him something like, “Well, the thing we gotta do in Birmingham–which was originally gonna be a nice break in our labors–is only happening on Aug. 18th.” Decided if we were going to do it, I better meet him somewhere along the way…Then decided the best meeting point was probably Memphis…Then realized it was all going to happen during Elvis Week…Sometimes these things work out.)

Anyway, what was happening one day only in BIrmingham was that their restored movie palace, the Alabama Theater, (which I blogged about a few weeks back) was showing Gone With the Wind on Saturday night.

The movie you probably know–though I can tell you that I had experienced it on the big screen three times previously (not to mention a couple of dozen times on VHS or DVD, including the time I watched it with the sound off and the time I listened to it with my eyes closed, all in a feeble attempt to understand Ms. Leigh’s genius for complex narrative, which no other actor has come close to matching in any medium that leaves a permanent record, though she herself got in the ballpark another time or two) and if you haven’t seen it in a place like the Alabama Theater, you haven’t really seen it–so I’ll leave you with a tour of the theater itself…(Photos courtesy of Dan Watson as per usual)

Bear in mind

Bear in mind as you scroll through that the city was planning to turn all this into a parking lot. Evidently someone wanted the pipe organ and–because of the cost of demolition and removal–figured out they could buy the whole building for not too awful much more…


This is the ticket booth

This is the ticket booth. I guess you can tell it was not shipped over from the local multi-plex.

...Just some knick-knacks for the lobby.

…Just a little knick-knack for the lobby.

Yes those are mirrored ceilings.

…And, yes, those are mirrored ceilings.




...More stuff slated to be paved over.

…More stuff once slated to be paved over.

Oh yea

Oh yeah, they are showing a movie…

Our seats await...

Our seats await…Side balcony!

Soon after

Soon after, the 2,300 seats were mostly filled…GWTW can still pull a crowd.





And, everywhere you look…details, details, details….

And finally

And finally, the restroom lobby. Be it ever so humble…


The wall

The wall that covers the pipe organ pipes…And created the expense-of-removal issue that saved the Alabama Theater!

Play on...

Play on…


Re-enactors providing the icing on the cake…

Saying goodbye...

Saying goodbye…

No really...

No really…


I promise.

I promise.

Thus ended the Southland Tour…Now my photo-happy friend and I are faced with several weeks of drudge work replacing my warped and rotted hardwood floor. The happy dream is over! But it sure was fun while it lasted…and I’ll always have the memories.