Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will be anchor tenant at Birmingham’s Powell Steam Plant

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is the first major tenant announced for the Powell Steam Plant.

Redevelopment firm Orchestra Partners made the announcement.

According the Alabama Newscenter, Powell Steam Plant is an 85,000-plus-square-foot historic structure in the heart of Birmingham’s Parkside District that is being redeveloped into an entertainment destination and connectivity hub.

“Since announcing redevelopment plans for Powell Steam Plant in November 2019, our goal from day one was to be intentional about finding the right tenant that aligns with the shared vision for this historic property,” said Hunter Renfroe, Orchestra Partners co-founder and principal. “By partnering with a reputable national brand like Alamo Drafthouse, we will pay homage to the steam plant and create a vibrant entertainment destination that attracts more people downtown.”

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema offers a unique movie experience featuring quality films, food, drinks and retail. Named the “#1 theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly and “Coolest Movie Theater in the World” by Wired, Alamo Drafthouse operates 37 locations from California to New York, providing a combination of theater and restaurant, showing first-run movies, independent films and hosting special events with an extensive menu made from scratch.

“We have a tremendous opportunity in Birmingham, as this marks Alamo Drafthouse’s first true venture into the Deep South,” said John Martin, partner at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. “Every theater brings a customized approach to appropriately fit the building space and surrounding neighborhood. Powell Steam Plant’s historical value is unlike any theater Alamo has previously converted, which will allow us to emulate this theme throughout every aspect of the cinema experience.”

Redevelopment plans for the entire Powell Steam Plant project call for a mixed-use entertainment venue designed for movies, music, events, retail stores and restaurants. Orchestra Partners plans to redevelop the adjacent lot, which could include an upscale hotel and apartments, while the street between the steam plant and adjacent lot will be a pedestrian center for outdoor gatherings.

Powell Steam Plant, built in 1895, provided steam and electricity for downtown businesses in Birmingham. It connected the city by powering the streetcar system, which was essential to the city’s growth. Alabama Power acquired the steam plant in the 1950s and continued operations until 2013.

“We are proud to welcome Alamo Drafthouse and witness the vital role it will play in breathing new life into Powell Steam Plant,” said Kimberly Jackson, Alabama Power government and community relations manager of the Birmingham Division. “Now this historic structure will serve as a catalyst for intentional, inclusive growth, promoting economic development and improving the quality of life for all of Birmingham’s residents.”

Construction on Alamo Drafthouse will begin in summer 2022 with an anticipated opening slated for fall 2023. For more information and leasing opportunities, visit


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