A few months ago, I posted about the IMAX screen at McWane Center. Curtis correctly pointed out the one problem with the possible addition of mainstream feature length films at that time: the need to purchase additional equipment for the projector. The requests for showing feature films in IMAX format have long come from all sections of the community, especially as those facilities that were already equipped to show them were in Atlanta and Nashville, providing another reason to not frequent the city center but make day trips to other cities. The potential benefits of the increased traffic that these screenings would provide are endless. These include:
- Additional foot traffic passing near the invisible yet still mental barrier of 19th Street
- Potential development opportunities, leading to more things to do in the downtown area
It appears as though the Board of Directors at McWane are willing to serve as a catalyst to the cause of revitalization in the downtown area, based upon announcements reported on in today’s Birmingham News. WiFi availability should increase traffic in that area of downtown, especially during lunch and early evening hours. Extended hours will also allow workaholics like myself and those that work elsewhere in the region but who’d like to come and visit the center on a more frequent basis to do so. And who wouldn’t mind having a cup of joe in the plaza in front of the science center’s entrance. As more of our city’s cultural landmarks continue to create ways to draw more of the region’s young professionals, all of our residents will benefit. I can’t wait to enjoy walking down the block to enjoy Superman Begins on the super screen instead of getting in the car and driving two hours to do it in Atlanta. Let’s not forget those who get to cut their drive time down due to this: they will now have an excuse to come and explore the Magic City, maybe even an overnight stay. It becomes more of a ripple effect: additional hotel rooms, more businesses catering to those that choose to live downtown or stay for a while after work.
It’s a very timely announcement to say the least, especially with finishing touches being made to planned changes for the Tutwiler as well as recent meetings and forums. Last night’s PARCA Roundtable discussion focused on the future of downtown development and things currently viewed as obstacles. ONB hosted a half day workshop talking about potential redevelopment in the Five Points South area. Those interested in seeing how us crazy loft dwellers live can do the Historic Footnotes Loft Walking Tour benefitting the Literacy Council over the coming weekend. And let’s not forget about Birmingham’s Taylor Hicks, who survived to sing another night last night. As I said yesterday, it would be 3 out of 5 if he makes it to the finals. He should be enjoying the trappings of a hero’s welcome in town tomorrow. He’s also rumored to be making an appearance at Art on the Rocks tomorrow night. There weren’t many left as of lunchtime today, so if you’re planning on goin, get ’em soon.
One quick question: What IMAX format feature film would you want to see? Comment and share your favorite!
Have a great day!
UPDATE! Check out today’s post on Wade on Birmingham to get the rest of Taylor’s schedule!