Category Archives: Movies

Sidewalk Film Festival runs Indiegogo campaign to offset title sponsor loss

2014 sidewalk festival logoThis weekend saw the Sidewalk Film Festival (formerly known as the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival) celebrate its sixteenth year of bringing independent film to Birmingham, AL. Festival award winners were announced on Sunday evening at the historic Alabama Theater; here’s the rundown via The festival went on this year without the benefit of a title sponsor.

The nonprofit parent organization for the festival, The Alabama Moving Picture Association, is in the final hours of an Indiegogo campaign organized to raise the $16,000 needed to offset the resulting gap in funding. According to the campaign’s landing page, ticket sales for the festival only account for one-third of the organization’s annual cash budget. As of the time of this posting, they’d raised 76% (approximately $12,138) of their goal. It is a flexible campaign — meaning they will receive any funds pledged by 11:59 p.m. PT this evening (August 25).

All Three area Rave theaters included in Carmike deal

Neon Rave. kejoli/Flickr.Don’t be surprised if you drive by the Rave Motion Pictures locations at Lee Branch, Patton Creek, and Vestavia City Center in early 2013 and you see another logo on them instead.

Those three theater complexes are being included in a deal that sees sixteen locations across seven states being sold to Carmike Cinemas. The purchase was announced earlier today is expected to be closed by the end of the calendar year.

The acquisition effectively removes Rave, a theater chain founded in 1999 and in Birmingham since late 2002, from the state of Alabama (save for the one location still operating in Montgomery). As the Birmingham Business Journal reported earlier today, the press release states the purchase price includes both cash and assumed lease obligations.

The merger also provides for an expansion of Carmike’s presence in the area (doubling the number of locations in the metro area) while making it possible for them to inherit one of the region’s IMAX screens (operating since 2010) and three facilities that feature all-digital projectors.

Unless it’s marking the beginning of the end of Rave as we know it, they should still be around for a while; they’ll still be operating 46 theaters after the deal’s closed.

Photo: Neon Rave. kejoli/Flickr.

Time to celebrate the drive-in

Google Doodle drivein stillAccording to today’s Google Doodle, it’s been 79 years since the first drive-in theater opened in Camden, New Jersey (only weeks after the patent was issued to Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr). The video accompanying it’s pretty cool.

There were a bunch of them here in Alabama – the list includes current and classic drive-in locations in the state – but the numbers have gotten down to twelve. While it’s probably going to be a little tough to find a copy of the 1932 British comedy Wives Beware (the 1st film ever shown in Camden) playing in Argo & Harpersville, you’ve got a chance to enjoy some recent releases this weekend locally – Madagascar 3 &/or Men in Black 3 (depending on the location). Yes, there’s probably a theme here.

The price has gone up a little bit too – from 25¢ for the car and an additional 25¢ for each person in the car in 1933 Camden to $5 for adults and $2 for children at metro Birmingham’s two current venues. Hopefully the rain will hold off for those of you wanting to check them out.

Filming of “42” set to close some downtown streets next week

Jackie Robinson's 42 at Citi Field June 10, 2009. David Berkowitz/Flickr.The filming of the Jackie Robinson biopic “42” will be taking over some of downtown Birmingham’s streets next week. The closures will serve as bookends for the crew’s stay – it’s been previously reported that they’ll be filming next week at historic Rickwood Field. Incidentally, there’s still a chance to sign up to watch filming at the ballpark as well as a chance to be an extra.

We’ve been trying to make some sense of the maps that we’ve been forwarded to us. Birmingham Police will be on hand to direct both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. You never know what could happen if fans of Chadwick Boseman (portraying Robinson) and Harrison Ford (portraying Dodgers GM Branch Rickey) even think they’ve caught a glimpse of them…

The closures will begin this coming Sunday, May 13 (PDF of closure map) in the area surrounding the Tutwiler Hotel. Park Place will be closed between Short 20th St. N. (the portion that runs directly in front of City Hall) and Richard Arrington, Jr. Blvd. N. It will also be closed on Monday, May 14 – along with one parking lane and one traffic lane along Arrington between Park Place and 6th Ave. N. Their goal is to reopen the area to traffic by 9 p.m. on May 15.

Next Friday, May 18, 3rd Ave. N. (PDF of closure map) will be closed from 17th Street N to Richard Arrington, Jr. Blvd. N. will reopen to traffic early Saturday morning (May 19). There may also be a section of 17th St. N. closed between 3rd & 4th Ave. N. at sometime on May 18 reopening the following morning. They’ll be towing cars too, so don’t park where you’re not supposed to be.

Photo: Jackie Robinson’s 42 at Citi Field June 10, 2009. David Berkowitz/Flickr.

New hope for independent film fans in Birmingham

It’s only been two weeks since the annual Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival took place in downtown Birmingham, AL. It appears that some are preparing to take advantage of momentum from projects like Railroad Park to provide a year-round venue for locals to enjoy independent film in the immediate metropolitan area while a new movie theater on the city’s east side has recently pledged to fill that need, at least partially.

A Facebook group appeared shortly after the festival, inviting people to become fans to help build support and interest in a new art house theater. Birmingham Indie Film Supporters appears to be loosely affiliated with the film festival’s parent organization, the Alabama Moving Image Association.

It’s interesting to note that in the midst of this recent wave of Facebook activism, Birmingham’s newest independently owned cinema complex, The Edge 12 located in Eastwood, told reporters for CBS 42 in August that they were planning to dedicate two screens to independent, non-commercial films.

BhamArchitect reports that one of the two screens is currently showing 2009’s The Girl Who Played With Fire, keeping in line with CrestwoodNorth’s tweet that only half of the screens were currently being used.

Wade wins the Sidewalk sweepstakes

Wade on Birmingham has the honor of being the first site in the city to share the name of the opening night film for Sidewalk’s 10th anniversary. We’ll share the name with you – Adventures of Power – but for the rest of it, you’ll have to check out Wade’s blog.

Collective Perspectives: Urban Studies and the Art of Filmmaking, Vulcan Park

Come on out this Tuesday to celebrate Birmingham’s traditionally African-American communities and culture through an engaging set of short films produced by students in UAB’s Ethnographic Filmmaking course. Presented by Michele Foreman, UAB Center for Urban Affairs.

Part of the Collective Perspectives 2008 series.

About the series:

Vulcan Park and Museum is proud to present Collective Perspectives 2008 in honor of Black History Month, a series of non-traditional programs designed to educate, entertain, and enlighten participants on the cultures that have made Birmingham the culturally diverse, compassionate and flourishing city that we are today. The Terminal is happy to be serving as a partner in presenting this series.

Join us every Tuesday in February from 5 – 7 p.m. and enjoy African-inspired foods during an energizing social hour and then explore the fabric of our neighborhoods during a one-hour program. Learn about the experiences of Black Americans in our society, the vital role this community has played throughout our shared history and draw inspiration from their important messages.

Free for Vulcan Park Foundation members; $5 for non-members

Vulcan Park and Museum
1701 Valley View Drive (directions)

related post:
Collectives Perspectives continues at Vulcan Park