Bama Theatre Savior Dead At 65

posted by Ross Melnick on July 1, 2002 at 5:22 am

TUSCALOOSA, AL — Gail Skidmore, who helped turn a crumbling Bama Theatre in the 1970s into a popular arts center and community anchor, died on Friday at the age of 65.

According to the Tuscaloosa News, when Skidmore took over as the Executive Director of the Arts Council of Tuscaloosa, “the [theater’s] roof was leaking, the boiler was blowing, and the seats and walls were peeling, [but] Skidmore looked up and saw blue skies.”

Following its restoration and renovation into a live theater venue, the Bama was home to the Tuscaloosa Symphony, Theatre Tuscaloosa, and Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre shows, amongst other events and performers. Skidmore retired in 1998 with much of the theater’s continued success attributed to her hard work.

One year after she departed, Theatre Tuscaloosa built its own home in 1999 and the Bama returned to its roots showing film. Its Silver Screen Series continues today showing independent, foreign, and classic movies.

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