Fans of the concerts and theater shows presented by the Historic Ritz Theatre in Talladega now have the opportunity to experience the venue in its original purpose: a movie theater.

A recent $35,000 upgrade includes a new automatic large screen, surround sound, digital projector and sound board.

"We are excited about this new opportunity to be able to now screen some of the critically acclaimed films that either are not shown in our region, or are done so with the shortest of runs," said George Culver, director of the Ritz.

The theater will debut its new movie equipment with a two-night viewing of "Woodlawn" on April 1-2 at 7 p.m.

The movie is based on real-life events surrounding the Banks and Woodlawn football game at Birmingham’s Legion Field in 1974

The film focuses on Woodlawn running back Tony Nathan and his recruitment by Paul "Bear" Bryant, depicted by Academy Award-winner Jon Voight. Nathan’s recruitment came at a time when racial tension remained high in the state.

Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for students.

• The Ritz’s spring season will continue April 23 with a performance by Adam Trent: The Futurist, who has been called "the Justin Timberlake of illusion." His act is part magic, part concert and part stand-up comedy. Adult tickets are $20; student tickets are $14.

• The spring season will conclude with The Willis Clan on May 14. The up-and coming stars are a family of 12 siblings based out of Nashville, Tenn. They have a TV show on The Learning Channel, "The Willis Family," which will return for its second season on Tuesday. Adult tickets are $20; student tickets are $14.

For more information, visit or call 256-315-0000.

— From staff reports