Princess Theatre: A Gem in the Heart of Bobby's Bama - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Princess Theatre: A gem in the heart of Bobby's Bama

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The renovated theatre seats 677 and has the latest lighting and audio capabilities. The renovated theatre seats 677 and has the latest lighting and audio capabilities.
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

Look up Decatur or Morgan County and you will see a poetic landmark: the majestic Princess Theatre. According to Lindy Ashwander, this address began as a livery stable in 1887. "It became the vaudeville house, silent movie house," she said.    

It eventually became a theater in 1919. Ashwander is Executive Director of the Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts. "Our restoration period is that 1941 art deco. One of the most exciting things that we wanted to bring back are all the fun elements including these wonderful murals."

The florescent paint shines when the black lights are on. It seats 677 and has the latest lighting and audio capabilities. Each upgrade leaves the theater in pristine condition of an earlier time, and that evokes memories.

Back in the mid 1960s the film Mary Poppins came to town, and everybody got to go to the Princess Theatre. During one of the matinees, little kids would walk up to the window and if you could say the word "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" you could get in free... but it had to be in one take.

The Princess endured several renovations and expansions over the years, including the addition of the building next door. "When this building was built in the 1920s, as a various storefront, it had the Albany post office. It had a bowling alley, brown's fabric, a radio station, it was last owned by an attorney and fortunately it was made available to buy for the city in the 90s," according to Ashwander.

She says it's large enough that a band can play on the mezzanine, while the open space can be used for various venues.  "It also gives us the opportunity to have a wedding reception. You can have a party, something after a theater performance."

Even a business meeting. Ashwander says another plus is the location in the heart of downtown.  "The princess is right in the middle of the entertainment district, now. And as you go outside you'll see all these amazing new restaurants."

For more information on the Princess Theatre, please visit their website.

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