Empire Theater

2012 3rd Avenue,
Birmingham, AL 35203

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Showing 9 comments

rivest266 on August 14, 2019 at 3:02 pm

This opened on January 21st, 1927. Grand opening ad posted.

StanMalone on July 30, 2016 at 10:23 am

In the 1955 Birmingham phone book, there is a listing for Acme Theater at this same address but with a different phone number from the Empire which is also listed. The website hsvmovies.com states that the Strand and the Galax which were located one block south on 2nd Ave. were operated by Acme Theater Company. Those two have an interesting history and at other times both took turns being known as the Newmar.

DavidDymond on March 24, 2013 at 9:08 am

Hank Williams WON a talent contest back in the thirties at the Empire Theatre in BIRMINGHAM!!!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm

This photo of Third Avenue with the Empire Theatre at center is dated 1929.

CSWalczak on February 25, 2011 at 10:52 am

Oops – sorry, wrong Empire in Alabama. The paintings of the marquee of the Empire in Montgomery.

CSWalczak on February 25, 2011 at 10:50 am

According to this article about an artist named Robert Cottingham, who is having an exhibition of nine large paintings of this theater’s marquee done in different media on display in a New York gallery, the paintings are based on photos he took of the theater twelve years before 2008 – which would mean that theater was in existence in 1996: View link.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 30, 2010 at 3:16 am

Here is a photo of the Empire Theatre dated 1937. The triangular marquee and fake stone front in the 1980 photo Chuck linked to were installed in 1949, according to the page Stan Malone linked to earlier. The slicker ground floor features (looks like faux marble to me) and the dark coverings of the second floor windows dated from another remodeling in 1964. The Empire Theatre was demolished in 1984.

StanMalone on September 1, 2007 at 9:15 am

This is long before my time of course, but from my reading of the website link it seems that the Empire of this page was built new in 1927. The organ story you mentioned probably took place at a different theatre that at one time used the name Empire. During my days of attending the Empire (1955-67) I never heard or saw any evidence of an organ such as the pipe bays up on the wall next to the screen. In fact, I do not even remember a stage.

StanMalone on July 7, 2007 at 9:13 am

Opened in 1927 and closed in 1984.

For anyone interested in Birmingham history in general, there is an outstanding website named Birmingham Rewound and it is mentioned in several of the postings of Birmingham theatres on this site. This link:

View link

will take you to the downtown theatre page. About half way down the page are several paragraphs on the Empire including several pictures.

I remember attending this theatre many times while growing up in Birmingham. Among the pictures I recall seeing there are: Nicky: Wild Dog Of The North, 633 Squadron, Is Paris Burning?, and Goldfinger, which is the subject of one of the pictures on the website.