Pell City Center to show movies
by David Atchison
Feb 09, 2014 | 2265 views |  0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PELL CITY - Lights, camera, action … the Pell City Center for Education and Performing Arts will start showing movies at the center.

“We want to get a number of shows under our belt this spring,” said Kelly Wilkerson, executive director for CEPA.

He said that will help prepare CEPA for a full slate of children’s movies for this summer.

Wilkerson told the Pell City Council at its Thursday’s work session that attendance numbers have become static, and the non-profit organization is looking at ways to reel in more people for family nights, classic movies and children cartoons.

“We need to get the people back into the door,” he said.

Pell City officials have unsuccessfully tried to bring a movie theatre to the city. Wilkerson said CEPA is not a commercial movie theater and is not looking at featuring first-run movies.

“Too expensive,” Wilkerson said.

He said their plans will not compete with area theatres but will provide good entertainment for the entire family.

“I’m confident it will boost attendance at the Performing Arts Center,” Wilkerson said.

Thursday Wilkerson asked the mayor and council to consider allocating $6,200 to CEPA so the organization can buy a commercial movie projector, which would be permanently installed inside the Performing Arts Center.

He said the projector will have two bulbs to prevent interruptions during the playing of movies. The projector is mounted to the ceiling.

“It’s a similar model to the one at the Alabama Theatre,” Wilkerson said.

He said CEPA will get movies through a licensing service, sort of a brokerage license company for motion pictures.

Wilkerson said individual license fees are $200-$300 per movie. Cost depends on the particular movie.

He said the School System is able to purchase an annual license for $200-$300, and could host movie nights as fundraisers for individual schools.

CEPA has already purchased a $3,000 movie screen, which will attached to the theatre’s state-of-the-art Vortex system, which raises and lowers play scenes.

“It’s sitting in the box ready to go,” Wilkerson said of the 28 foot by 16 foot movie screen.

He said the screen just about fills the entire stage area of the performing arts center, providing the “real feel” of a movie theater.

Wilkerson said CEPA recently added two additional speakers in the theatre in preparation for upcoming movie shows.

He said CEPA could host a 12 days to Christmas event, where the organization would show Christmas movies for 12 nights leading up to Christmas.

Wilkerson said even if Pell City should get a movie theatre, what CEPA is offering would not compete with a commercial movie theater showing new releases.

“It would just be a win-win for everyone,” he said.

The Center for Education and Performing Arts theatre holds about 400 people and was constructed about eight years ago.

Contact David Atchison at