Empire Theater

2012 3rd Avenue,
Birmingham, AL 35203

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Acme Theater

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Empire Theater

The Empire Theater opened on January 21, 1927 with Laura La Plante in “Her Big Night” & Mabel Normand in “Raggedy Rose” plus vaudeville on the stage. In the 1955 & 1957 editions of Film Daily Yearbook the Acme Theater is listed as operating at this address. The Empire Theater closed in 1984.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!!!

rivest266 on August 14, 2019 at 3:02 pm

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

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