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History. That's what makes Decatur special for some small businesses.

Every place you've ever been to has some kind of history attached to it, and most of the time this history goes back for generations.

DECATUR, Ala. — Every place you've ever been to has some kind of history attached to it, most of it going back for generations.

It's this history that keeps some Decatur small business owners going.

Let's look into some of the history of Decatur, Alabama - starting with the Princess Theater.

"When this building was built where the theater is now, it was a livery stable. So, we're talking horse and buggy days, late 1800s. 1887 is actually when this building was built. But back in the 70s, I think you remember, malls came in and people move to the suburbs, and a lot of those malls were indoor experiences. They had actually theaters within those walls and that kind of became a trend across the united states, not just here in Alabama, not just here in Decatur. There were five movie theaters here in Decatur at one time, all within the downtown area. This is the only one that survived," said Communications Director at the Princess Theatre, Melissa Ford Thornton.

But talk of history doesn't stop at these places, these buildings.

The real history lies within the people of those places, like Carrington Kelly, owner of The Sassy Owl Boutique. 

She says, "My parents had a small store when I was growing up and so I'd go to market with my mom and I just fell in love with it then. So, I grew up, you know, behind the counter and doing all the fun- the fun small business stuff then, and then you know, of course now, obviously all the hard parts but yes I think it probably runs in the family."

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Not only have generations of families run these local businesses, generations of families have also been served by these business owners.

Cindy Kelley, for example, has cut generation after generation of hair. 

"Actually, we're doing, gosh... generations. I mean, I've got kids that I've watched grow up and bring their own kids in, but when they bring their grandkids, that's when I retire," Kelley laughs. "No, they really- we have got probably four generations and have been through here, I've watched over the last 36 years."

For many, working with your family may seem like a nightmare, but not for the Spousta family, working together is just another form of therapy. 

Norma Spousta says her husband built her cabinets, showcases and shelving in her booth at Banks Street Art & Antiques.

"He did so much that it was, it was fun. We did it together. It was a husband and wife and a son item, so it was- and it was good therapy with my son, he was in the Navy and had a head injury and he couldn't work and this was something else we built-in good, so there were reasons why we stayed the way we did." 

So, as the years have come and gone. the history and memories of this city do not fade.

Melissa Ford Thornton sums it up well, talking about the Princess Theatre, "It's really interesting to hear people who come, who are older than my dad even and who come and say I got my first kiss in this theater."

HISTORY: Princess Theatre in Decatur

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