The Alabama and Lyric Theatres among more than a dozen businesses damaged in downtown Birmingham Sunday night

B'ham theater district damaged in protests

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Businesses around Birmingham are in recovery mode now after some weekend protests turned violent causing thousands of dollars in damage.

The Alabama and Lyric Theatres were among more than a dozen businesses damaged in the heart of downtown Birmingham Sunday night.

Both theaters are owned by Birmingham Landmarks, Inc., which has facilities all along 18th street, all of which were damaged.

Wooden boards replace doors and windows shattered during protests that turned violent Sunday night into early Monday morning.

“At this point, I believe the count is at 12 or 13 total broken glass doors and windows. A lot of them are completely shattered and broken out to where you are able to gain entry into our spaces, but a lot of the windows were also just shattered in a way that they are still intact for now, but are very unsafe and have to be completely replaced,” said Alabama and Lyric Theatre Venue Manager, Cindy Mullins.

Mullins said security video shows some people did manage to get inside the Alabama Theatre, but thankfully, no damage was done to anything unique to the space.

“We saw somebody check out one of our cash registers, but they left it, but other than that, no damage to the inside. It was all exterior and we’re very lucky that our damage was to things that can be completely replaced,” Mullins said.

Both the Alabama Theatre and the Lyric Theater were already facing financial turmoil due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cancelling, or postponing more than 60 events.

The venues had already been making adjustments to their budgets to keep up with repairs and utilities.

“We have minimized our bills as much as we can, we have renegotiated some contracts based on the fact that there’s no events and our bills are still running about $75,000 a month for all of our properties,” Mullins explained.

“We do have insurance, but the deductible is quite high, and so we’ll have to pay several thousands of dollars out of pocket before the insurance can cover it," Mullins said.

The Alabama and the Lyric Theaters have started asking for donations on their social media accounts and websites to cover basic operating costs.

As a non-profit, they said they’ve always needed donations, but that extra help is needed now more than ever.

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