Locally Produced Documentary About UA's "The Strip" to Premiere at Bama Theatre

"The Strip: Tuscaloosa's Most Colorful Quarter Mile" will premiere at the Bama Theatre on Sept. 24. "The Strip: Tuscaloosa's Most Colorful Quarter Mile" will premiere at the Bama Theatre on Sept. 24. Michael Palmer

The Bama Theatre will host the premiere screening of a locally produced documentary, “The Strip: Tuscaloosa’s Most Colorful Quarter Mile,” on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are priced at $8, student/senior tickets are $7, and the Bama Bar will be open for the event at 6:45 p.m. The screening is affiliated with the City of Tuscaloosa’s Bicentennial Celebration.

 

This self-funded independent film documentary takes a look at how the 1976 repeal of an antiquated state law that prohibited bars within one mile of institutions of higher learning changed the social and music scene in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Many stories are associated with The Strip, the business district situated adjacent to The University of Alabama campus, and the film explores the last 100 years, focusing mainly on the second half of the last century and how various legal and political rulings affected this quarter-mile stretch of road.

Even before it was given its long-lasting nickname, The Strip was a vibrant area of commerce for students and locals alike, including everything from restaurants and retail outlets to a bowling alley and gas station.  The roadway that the businesses front has been known by many names: U.S. Highway 11, Alabama 215, University Avenue, and now, University Boulevard —four blocks of eateries, boutiques, novelty shops, and bars.

Gravy Productions, composed of Ben Ellis, Taylor Watson, and Rick Dowling, interviewed former business owners and UA representatives to discuss the efforts the university went to control The Strip. Their efforts have, to an extent, changed the look of The Strip and changed its reputation.

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