Home to what was the world’s largest Mickey Mouse Club and acts featuring the Marx Brothers and May West, three Birmingham, Alabama theaters take center stage in preserving and archiving the city’s complicated history from the early 20th century through the Civil Rights movement.
Now known as the Carver Performing Arts Center, the Carver Theatre was opened in 1935 as one of the first movie houses for African-Americans to see first-run films.
Located in the Fourth Avenue Business District that housed much of the African-American community businesses and entertainment venues, the Carver was modernized in 1945 before slowing falling into disrepair and eventually closing in the 1980s.
The City of Birmingham purchased and began restoring the Carver in 1990 in an effort to revitalize the Fourth Avenue neighborhood that had played host to many civil rights events during the decades prior.
Today the Carver houses the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame that opened in 1993 and continues to show movies, host concerts, and rent space for special events.