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 October 2011, the City of Selma partnered with J. David & Sharon Jackson to reopen the Walton Theater as a first-run movie theater. New state-of-the-art digital projection and sound systems were installed and January 13, 2012, the Selma Walton Theater held its Grand Opening.
The Walton Theater is a contributing property to Selma’s “Old Town Historic District” that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). It is located at 1000 Selma Avenue at downtown Selma (GPS coordinates 32.408516,-87.021284).
Photographs courtesy of RuralSWAlabama.