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  #101  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2007, 6:33 AM
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Randy Sandford Randy Sandford is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacobjo21 View Post
that is ugly. what kind of football game would be in there. they need to rethink
It's a joke. The Birminghamster is our local version of The Onion.
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  #102  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2007, 12:22 PM
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Joke or not,

I think it's an interesting idea. Can you imagine how cool an arena/stadium/exhibit space could be with a glass wall and the bham skyline in the background. That has huge potential.
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  #103  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2007, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacobjo21 View Post
that is ugly. what kind of football game would be in there. they need to rethink
bet the greenhouse effect would be tremendous, the air condition bill would be impressive.
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  #104  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2007, 1:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Sandford View Post
It's a joke. The Birminghamster is our local version of The Onion.
Thanks Randy...that was great...
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  #105  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2007, 9:49 PM
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lol@jacob...i thought it was pretty neat though. at this point i dont really care, i just wish they would do something, anything!
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  #106  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2007, 12:51 AM
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Looks like we'll at least be getting an entertainment district. From what I've heard, construction could begin by as soon as this summer.

Quote:
Council backs Memphis developer for entertainment district
Posted by rsims March 27, 2007 12:24PM

The Birmingham City Council has endorsed Memphis-based Performa Real Estate Inc. as the developer for an entertainment district at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex.

The council voted today after its legal adviser J. Richmond Pearson met with BJCC Executive Director Jack Fields and said the council was "free to proceed without delay."

The council had requested that consultant Carol Forge Hatcher, who was putting together a team of developers, provide more information about her financial backing for the project to fields who would then report to the city. Pearson did not give specifics of that report today.

Performa plans to invest $55 million in a plan that includes, restaurants, night clubs, retail shops and a hotel located on Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard between 22nd Street North and 24th Street North.
Joseph Bryant
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  #107  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2007, 3:15 PM
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Movers behind Beale Street see successful model at BJCC
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
ROY L. WILLIAMS News staff writer

MEMPHIS -- It's a Thursday night and Beale Street is crowded with tourists.

NBA fans attracted by the Los Angeles Lakers, in town to play the hometown Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum a block off Beale, were in the mix, along with of tourists, local residents and college students bar-hopping on spring break.

Though Birmingham doesn't have an NBA team, the developers of Beale Street believe they can duplicate Memphis' success in the $55 million entertainment district they plan to build adjacent to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

"I have a lot of confidence in Birmingham because the city is so similar to Memphis," said Performa Entertainment Real Estate CEO John Elkington, who is credited with revitalizing downtown Memphis since his company took over management of the once-struggling Beale Street downtown in 1982.

Just as Beale Street's nightclubs and restaurants play off Memphis' famous barbecue and musical history with venues such as B.B. King's Blues Club, Elkington said the BJCC entertainment district will focus on Birmingham's musical history and try to capitalize on the city's success on "American Idol."

The key to success, Elkington said, will be for the Birmingham district to attract tenants that can't be found anywhere else, such as local restaurants and nightclubs, along with a mixture of familiar chains like Pat O'Brien's, Hard Rock Cafe and Coyote Ugly.

Elkington said he is in talks with Dick Clark's American Music Cafe in California about doing a possible cafe with an Alabama theme.

"I would like to get famous Alabama sports stars like a Charles Barkley or Bo Jackson to do something in the district," he said.

Outdraws Graceland:

Though Beale Street has now become Memphis' No. 1 tourist destination, attracting 4.2 million people a year, more than Elvis Presley's Graceland home, Elkington said it didn't happen overnight.

Elkington acknowledges the Beale Street model doesn't work everywhere. A Performa project in Shreveport was scrapped when new owners took over the district and went in a different direction focused on the casinos there, he said.

Elkington was hired as a consultant to help develop a district in Cincinnati but dropped out of the deal after finding the city wasn't the right fit. In addition, a Performa entertainment district set to open in Jackson, Miss., next year is running behind schedule.

Elkington said he doesn't foresee problems in Birmingham because Performa has gotten the government and private cooperation he says are critical to success.

Craig Marshall, general manager of the Hampton Inn & Suites a block off Beale Street, said Elkington deserves credit for resisting the operators of strip clubs and other risque entertainment venues who wanted to turn the development into another Bourbon Street.

"The key to the success of Beale Street is John Elkington. He is a maestro of tenant selection," said Marshall, whose hotel is owned by the Belz family, which also operates the Peabody Hotel, Peabody Place indoor mall and several condo buildings downtown.

Dick Hackett, president of the Children's Museum of Memphis, said Beale Street has had a spillover effect. Many parents visiting his museum said they were attracted to the city by Beale Street, he said.

Cato Walker, a Performa senior vice president who will head the Birmingham project, said the company makes sure in all of its cities that the entertainment districts' tenant mix of nightclubs, restaurants and retail shops are family-friendly.

Many of its nightclubs, such as Rum Boogie Cafe and B.B. King's Blues Club, have afternoon or early evening live band performances for diners largely comprised of couples with young children. "I have a lot of parents who call and ask if they can bring their kids and we welcome them," said Preston Lamm, owner of the Rum Boogie Cafe.

Lamm said he wants to bring some of the venues he operates on Beale Street, such as the Pig barbecue restaurant and the Mesquite steak house, to the BJCC district.

The operator of Wet Willie daiquiri bar has also expressed interest in opening a location in Birmingham, Elkington said.

E-mail: rwilliams@bhamnews.com
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  #108  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2007, 5:03 PM
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Finally! Some great news there. I wish Birmingham would get a blues club.. it is my favorite kind of music.. and I never get to hear it live.
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  #109  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2007, 6:08 PM
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Quote:
I wish Birmingham would get a blues club.. it is my favorite kind of music.. and I never get to hear it live.
Are you familiar with the Alabama Blues Project ?
http://www.alabamablues.org/
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  #110  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2007, 6:10 PM
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This is great for Birmingham, finally maybe the city can start to reach it's potential. It seem so obvious, this thing will be wildly successful and people will wonder why it took so long. This diamond is being polished.
Performa knows what they are doing.
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  #111  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2007, 6:13 PM
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WOW!! i am so excited to hear that! i can't wait to see any renderings of the ent district and to know exactly what's going to be down there.
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  #112  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2007, 10:01 PM
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It better be finished by the time I get to Birmingham on Friday.

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  #113  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2007, 11:49 PM
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I had no idea about the Alabama Blues Project.... Thanks!!
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  #114  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2007, 10:36 PM
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Hey,
I'm just made an account, but have been keeping up with the forum for quite some time.
The entertainment district looks very promising for Birmingham's future.
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  #115  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2007, 10:56 PM
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Welcome, BhamTiger... always good to have more Birmingham folks posting.
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  #116  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2007, 7:08 PM
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Welcome, BhamTiger10! I hope you're an Auburn Tiger and not an LSU Tiger (if you're a Memphis, Clemson, or some other Tiger, then that's OK...LOL).

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  #117  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2007, 2:48 AM
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Anyone heard any updates on Melaver's Federal Reserve project? I'm pretty sure they haven't started on the tower yet, but have they started the renovations yet or does anyone know when they are to start?
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  #118  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2007, 1:14 PM
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Can't wait for this...

Quote:
Plans for Lyric revamp drafted
Friday, April 06, 2007
DAWN KENT News staff writer

Restoration experts from New York and Ohio were in Birmingham Thursday, looking to breathe new life into a city theater that featured the greatest names in Vaudeville during its heyday.

Architect Paul Westlake Jr. and restorer Jeff Greene visited the Lyric Theatre on Third Avenue North, where they worked on construction drawings for the first phase of an estimated $12 million renovation project.

That phase will cover the lobby and will serve as a staging area for a future fundraiser for the project, said Cecil Whitmire of Birmingham Landmarks Inc. and director of the Alabama Theatre.

Some people may doubt the Lyric, closed for more than 30 years, can be restored to its original grandeur, Whitmire said, which is why he wants the lobby done first to show off the possibilities to potential donors.

"I'm trying to take all the negatives out of the campaign," he said. "I want to take every kind of step I can to make sure we don't have a false start."

The City of Birmingham provided $200,000 for a study to determine what it would take for the Lyric to accommodate modern shows and audiences. The study is complete, and Whitmire hopes the city's money also will cover the lobby work.

He expects to know price estimates and a timetable for the first phase next week.

The 1,200-seat Lyric opened in 1914 and was home to headliners such as the Marx Brothers, Milton Berle, Will Rogers, Jack Benny and George Burns. Movies followed until the theater was shuttered in 1959.

It reopened briefly in the 1970s, first showing classic movies and then adult movies. Birmingham Landmarks Inc., which operates the Alabama Theatre, took over the Lyric in 1991.

A restoration of the Lyric could create more nightlife opportunities for Birmingham area residents, Whitmire said. Now, the Alabama Theatre turns down about 100 shows a year because it is heavily booked.

Some groups also would prefer the intimacy of the Lyric over the larger Alabama, which has 2,271 seats, Whitmire said.

Restoration also would help boost Birmingham's entertainment district and businesses that would cater to a nighttime crowd, he said.

Greene's firm, New York-based EverGreene Painting Studios Inc., has restored more than 200 theaters across the United States, including the Alabama Theatre.

Greene calls the Lyric a "jewel in the rough."

"It has great bones, as they say. It's been closed for so long, everyone's forgotten it, but I think it's a huge asset for Birmingham. It complements the Alabama perfectly," he said.

Westlake's firm, Cleveland-based Westlake Reed Leskosky, also has been involved in restoring historic theaters across the country. The firm also does work in performing arts venues, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.

"It's probably the best unrestored theater in America," Westlake said of the Lyric. "The community should be very optimistic."

E-mail: dkent@bhamnews.com
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Last edited by Blazer85; Apr 6, 2007 at 3:45 PM.
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  #119  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2007, 3:47 PM
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And here's a picture from back in the day...



Lyric Theatre (left) and Alabama Theatre (right)
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  #120  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2007, 4:17 PM
BhamTiger10 BhamTiger10 is offline
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Randy,
I'm an Auburn Tiger. War Eagle!
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