Many visitors are surprised to discover that the Alabama Theatre is located on the South Carolina coast. Of course, they are also surprised to learn that the country music group by the same first name got its start on the Grand Strand.
Before the good ol’ boys from the multi-Grammy Award winning band Alabama were inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame, they served as the house band for the legendary Myrtle Beach honky-tonk The Bowery in the downtown oceanfront during the 1970s. Years after the band hit the big time, the group decided to pay tribute to their roots by opening the palatial Alabama Theatre in North Myrtle Beach’s Barefoot Landing complex.
In keeping with the spirit of the founding crooners, the Alabama Theatre stands as a shrine to country music on the Grand Strand. National and regional touring acts make regular stops before sellout crowds at the 2,000-seat, state-of-the-art venue, and touring companies provide off-Broadway-style entertainment on the stage. The intimate seating and quality sound and lighting make this one of the best places to see live music or a show on the Strand.
The Alabama Theatre is best known for its long-running and award-winning production of “ONE: The Show,” which serves as the regular headliner from February through October each year. Featuring professional singers, dancers and actors performing a constantly updated and upgraded version of the original showcase, “One” is an inspirational family-friendly performance that keeps people coming back for more year after year.
During the holiday season, the Alabama Theatre shifts its focus to its highly acclaimed production of “The South's Grandest Christmas Show,” and the performance lives up to its name. An all-star cast performs song-and-dance routines to all the Christmas classics and offers something special for audience members of all ages. The older generation will take a stroll down memory lane when some of the traditional country and gospel hymns are performed, and the young ones love the appearance of Santa Claus on his flying sleigh. If your family needs a nice dose of holiday spirit, the Alabama Theatre is the place to get it.
In addition to the regularly appearing shows, the Alabama Theatre also plays host to touring concerts of all musical genres, including big-name bands and comedians. Among the many famous acts to appear on the Alabama Theatre stage, besides the obvious namesake band, are Vince Gill, the Oak Ridge Boys, The Temptations, the Four Tops and the Kingston Trio. Famous comedians Bill Cosby and Larry the Cable Guy have also tickled crowds with their acts, and a fresh lineup of top performers is scheduled to appear in 2015.
The Alabama Theatre, which was voted the No. 1 Live Theatre Attraction on the Grand Strand, also offers a unique experience by simply touring the lobby. Concession stands offering the usual theater favorites plus a few extra, like beer and wine. The gift shop gives patrons a chance to take home something to remember their big night at the Alabama Theatre, and performers often appear in the lobby after the show to sign autographs and take pictures with fans. For the Christmas show, the lobby is decked out in holiday fare and provides the perfect backdrop for a family photo you can use as your Christmas card.
The Alabama Theatre is located at Barefoot Landing, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy dinner or shopping before the show at any of the dozens of restaurants and stores in the complex. Show times and ticket prices vary from show to show. For more information about times or to purchase advanced tickets, call 800-342-2262 or visit the website at www.alabamatheatre.com.