Sidewalk Film Center and Cinema

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The Sidewalk Film Center and Cinema (originally the Alabama Moving Image Association) is a non-profit educational organization with offices in The Pizitz. It was incorporated in 1998 by Erik Jambor, Kelly Franklin and Wayne Franklin in order to produce the Sidewalk Film Festival (originally called the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival), an annual competitive film festival held in downtown Birmingham. The organization's executive director is Chloe Collins. Aaron Pinhas is director of the film center and cinema.

In addition to the annual film festival, Sidewalk programs "Sidewalk Salon" discussion groups, a "SideTalks" podcast, and bi-annual "Sidewalk Scramble" weekend filmmaking competitions.

Jambor stepped down as executive director in December 2006, citing disagreement with the board of directors, then headed by Alan Hunter. The board indicated that the festival's finances needed to be strengthened through additional corporate sponsors. In January 2007, Catherine Pfitzer, the festival's program manager, was named as Jambor's replacement. She was fired by the board in February 2009. Collins was hired in April 2009.

Plans for constructing a year-round film center had been proceeding for years before a fund-raising campaign was announced in April 2017. Davis Architects designed the 11,400 square foot space to include two 100-seat cinemas, two lounges, a bar and concession stand, along with a classroom and administrative offices. Stewart Perry Construction Company began demolition in the basement level of the Pizitz building in November 2018. $400,000 in public funds for the project were approved by the Jefferson County Commission and Birmingham City Council. Other major donors include Bayer Properties, EBSCO, and the Hugh Kaul Foundation.

The Sidewalk Film Center and Cinema opened in August 2019.


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