So Bessemer is finally going to get a movie theater! This past Thursday the City Council voted unanimously to give Colonial Properties one million dollars to help close the deal that will bring a first class theater complex to the new development going up near Eastern Valley Road and I-459.
Bessemer has been fighting to get a theater as long as I have lived here, and deal after deal has fallen through. This one looks like it will stick.
Time after time I heard the phrase “quality of life issue” during the debate over the past several weeks. Quality of life is something that catches my attention, as the mission statement of the Bessemer Neighborhood Association states to “improve the quality of life throughout Bessemer and its surrounding communities.” The association realizes that many things affect our quality of life, from the threat of violence to water rates to government corruption and more. As we learned from the council meetings this week and last, the way our tax money is spent (or wasted) certainly affects our quality of life.
A movie theater gives kids, teenagers, and adults a place to go for local entertainment. It will produce tax revenue both directly and indirectly as movie goers also stop to eat out or shop at Target or other stores at Colonial Promenade Tannehill.
The council was hesitant until they realized that the money was to come from an account that could only be used for commercial or industrial development.
Since our quality of life will be better, let’s just hope that Hollywood takes notice and we also see “quality of film” improve. The last two year’s Oscar winners for best picture were about urban racial conflict (“Crash”) and organized crime and police corruption (“The Departed”). Although good movies, we don’t want to give our citizens and officials any ideas.
The runners-up from the last couple of years may be better for us. Off the wall comedies like “Little Miss Sunshine” and timeless romance stories like “Brokeback Mountain” might be more suitable. After all, more laughter and more love would certainly be an indicator of a higher quality of life, and that’s what it’s all about.