Sit a Spell // Arts & Culture // Architecture // Performing Arts
Dallas CountySouthwest Alabama
Walton Theater Selma is a historic venue that was built in 1914 as a vaudeville house. It was later converted into a movie theater and now serves as a performing arts center. The theater has undergone extensive renovations and is now a vibrant cultural hub for the community.
The Walton Theater opened for operation in 1914. During the late 1940’s, in addition to running feature films and hosting vaudeville shows, the Walton staged local “Amateur Nights.” A typical weekend night at the Walton would include a feature movie, local talent acts, newsreels and a short comedy.
By the 1970’s, the Walton Theater was closed and on the verge of crumbling. In the early 1980’s, a project spearheaded by local resident, Larry Striplin, and singer, Anita Bryant, was launched to restore and enlarge the facility to feature theater productions and movies and to host special community activities. After five years of planning and construction, the Walton Theater opened in May, 1985 as the Performing Arts Center. The Performing Art Center ceased its operation in the 1990s. In February 2015 the Walton Theater was reopened by A.T.A.P. Community Development Corporation a 501 ( c)3 NonProfit Organization run by Pastor John Grayson, his wife Dr. CeCe Grayson and a host of volunteers.
During this grand re-opening of the theater the movie Selma was introduced to the world. During the opening weekend the Walton Theater played host to some of America’s most talented Actors, Actresses, Musicians and more. This Red Carpet event included Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, Common, David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, along with American Filmmaker Ava DuVernay and more.
The Historic Walton Theater Selma is a one-screen vintage theater that shows first-class family-oriented blockbuster movies. The vision of A.T.A.P. CDC and The Grayson’s for acquiring operations of the theater was to provide safe recreational activities for families. Since reopening in 2015, we have a very robust partnership with public and private schools throughout the Blackbelt to offer worthwhile field trips for faculty and students in accordance with Alabama Course of Study Standards. It also serves as a YJTP site.
According to The Grayson’s, the Walton Theater is a family oriented, safe environment where the entire family can come and enjoy a pleasant evening. This family environment at the theater comes from the fresh smell of hot popcorn as you walk through the doors and the theater only shows PG-13 movies and below. Since 2015 the Walton Theater is known as a friendly treasure of our community that welcomes everyone