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Birmingham Cinemas

Mike Blakemore

master brummie
The Owners of the Theatre before ABC Cinemas.. Was Leon Salberg of the Alex.. and Sir Sidney Clift of Clifton .. It was sold along with the rest of Cinema Propriotors Ltd., Cinema.. May be interesting to note. That the Four main Players if that company was Clift.. Salberg.. Mortimer Dent... J Cohen.. These ended up Salberg & Clift Became the Clifton Circuit plus 6 cinemas Branded Odeon... Mortimer Dent with the Danilo Circuit.. J Cohen with the Jacey Circuit. Sorry... I am so full of useless imformation
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Mike,

The information I have is that, on the 23rd of September 1893 the Theatre Royal Aston opened after being built for Robert and George Hall by a Mr Bloore to the design of a Mr Ward for a cost of £6.500. After only 1 year the then owner and manager Mr Robert Hall went bankrupt. The theatre was purchased by Charles Barnard who spent £13,000 on the interior and re-opened as a variety house, but soon returned to melodrama and sometimes even Shakespeare. Sadly by 1925 the competition of cinema forced it's closure and re-opening as a cinema.
 

wam

master brummie
As far as I was aware in the 50's/60s, Gooch Street was Balsall Heath. paul
From what I saw in the 60s the Balsall Heath border was Balsall Heath Road (that's where the sign was) but I've heard from others that it's always been Belgrave road. Either way Gooch Street never crossed Belgrave Road (the post with the pictures puts the Balsall Heath cinema close to the corner of Gooch St and Balsall Heath Rd). Like I said, if you're going to extend Balsall Heath as far as the Triangle, you have to include the Alhambra which was closer.
 

Mike Blakemore

master brummie
Hi Phil. That matches... 1925 till 1929 was the Salberg and Clift era.... When I worked for ABC I knew a Projectionist known as "Dickie Bird" He told me when they closed the "TABs" a projectionist nipped out of the Box Crossed the stage to prompt corner and open and close them by hand cranked winder.. ABC chose the Theatre Royal because it was the most difficult one to convert to Cinemascope.. The Bonus it had for a TV studio was the stagehouse... and dressing rooms... The Studios througout its life, was owned by ABC never ATV "ALPHA" was a brand name of ABC.. The Architect for the Cinema conversion work was "Satchwell & Roberts"
 

roverman

master brummie
Hi All, The Astoria was also one of my "Locals" particularly when I lived in Rupert Street, pre war. One film in particular I remember was "Aloma Of The South Seas" with Dorothy Lamour. Another cinema was The "Aston Cross" where I saw "Dawn Patrol" with Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone.
Regards Reg
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Another one that I don't think we have an image of on here. Kings Hall Picture House which opened in 1909. This photo must have been taken some time between 1912 and 1918 when the cinema had been renamed the Royal Cinema De-Luxe. Sorry I don't know what the parade is about, but I can see that George Formby is appearing live at the Grand just down the road.
 

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Richie

Mr.Respectable
Another one that I don't think we have an image of on here. Kings Hall Picture House which opened in 1909. This photo must have been taken some time between 1912 and 1918 when the cinema had been renamed the Royal Cinema De-Luxe. Sorry I don't know what the parade is about, but I can see that George Formby is appearing live at the Grand just down the road.

This will be George Formby SENIOR, Phil. Both father and son took the same stage name, otherwise the George we all knew and loved would only have been around 8 years old then. Unless of course "our" George, like Shirley Temple in later years, was a prodigious child star by then?
 

Richie

Mr.Respectable

These five Balsall Heath Cinemas have all been mentioned before on this thread, but the photos went missing when the site was hacked. Perhaps a moderator might be able to slot them back in their original posts because I doubt that after all this time the original poster is going to. In fact if the OP hasn't got a copy ofthe photo to reinstate he is quite at liberty to use one of these and I will then delete it. These five cinemas are, The Balsall Heath Cinema later renamed the Luxor it was near the junction of Gooch St on Balsall Heath Rd. TheTriangle Cinema at the junction of Gooch St and Conybere St. The Imperial Cinema at the junction of Clifton Rd and Moseley Rd. The Moseley Cinema near to the junction of Belgrave Rd and finally the only one that still remains the Olympia even if it is an Asian Supermarket now.



To remind friends who had their photos and comments stolen at the time a few years ago-and to inform new members-the Luxor was featured due to its prominent location in Balsall Heath in the 1980 'X' certificate suburban drama 'Prostitute'. Here's the link to the then-and-now site "ReelStreets"
https://reelstreets.com/index.php?o...task=view&id=797&film_ref=prostitute&Itemid=3
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Richie

I won't say I agree with the term "we all knew and loved" but I didn't know about George Formby senior. I did think it a bit strange that he could have been appearing on stage in Birmingham between the years 1912 and 1918. So I class today as a good day because I have learnt something new.
 

carolina

master brummie
Phil I have that photo as well. The caption I have reads.
The Kings Hall Picture House Corporation St (opposite the Law Courts) opened in 1909 and closed in 1920. Between 1912 and 1920 it was named Royal Cinema De Luxe. A little further up Corporation Street can be seen the Grand Theatre opened in 1883. This became a cinema in 1930 closing in 1933 and the became the Grand Casino Ballroom, finally closing in 1960.
George Formby is advertised as appearing at the time of the photograph.

Here is another one dated 1911

Kings Hall Theatre 1911.jpg
 

MWS

master brummie
THE CAPTIOL CINEMA ALUM ROCK ROAD..


View attachment 87769

The PIcture of The Capitol One Screen..


Located in the Ward End district to the East of Birmingham. The 900-seat Capitol Cinema was opened Easter Monday 4th April 1925 with Reginald Denny in “Spring Life”. It was designed by architectural firm Satchwell & Roberts, with the facade designed by architect Archibald Hurley Robinson who also acted as quantity surveyor. Prop., The Capitol Cinema(Ward End) Limited. In 1927 the company built the Tivoli Cinema at Yardley, in 1934 they built the Olton Cinema, Olton and in the 1950’s they took over the Stockland Green Playhouse Co.
In 1929, the Capitol Cinema was enlarged to 1,407 seats, retaining the original Hurley Robinson exterior. Seating was now provided for 1,029 in the stalls and 378 in the circle. The Capitol Cinema was the first cinema in Birmingham to use girder framed construction and a very early Art-Deco style auditorium (The first in Birmingham at least…)
In 1964 it had a major refurbishment with a 48ft picture, with intention of 70mm presentations. This they decided not to change the equipment in the end. In 1979 saw a conversion into 3 screens. We used Modernisiation Ltd., again (headed by John Freeze-Greene grandson of William Freeze-Green father was one of the Fathers of Cinema). Seating capacities in the screens were:– (1) 350 (2) 250 (3)130, and the re-opening films were “Bear Island”, “Love at First Bite” and “Bedknobs and Broomsticks”. The Capitol Cinema was closed in 1996 with “Muppet Treasure Island”.
I was General Manager from 1974 till 1996.

Very interesting Mike, thanks.

The Capitol was my local cinema and the first film I saw was Grease before the conversion. I always wanted to sit up on the balcony but never did. I can remember queueing up down the side. Usually went on Saturdays, I remember seeing Mork and Mindy when there was something on before the main film.

And I doubt it was the very last showing but I saw The Muppets Treasure Island (screen 2 I think) with my sister, there was just us and a lady with some children. It was a shame and a surprise when it closed but I suppose it was only a matter of time with the multi-screen cinemas.
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Hi Mike,

Did you ever see the two ghosts during your tenure as manager at the Capitol? Just one other thing the cinema opened with "Sporting Life" according to my book, but I think that was wrong also and the opening film was actually "Sporting Youth"
 

Mike Blakemore

master brummie
Hi Mike,

Did you ever see the two ghosts during your tenure as manager at the Capitol? Just one other thing the cinema opened with "Sporting Life" according to my book, but I think that was wrong also and the opening film was actually "Sporting Youth"


Hi Phil. Hmm There were more then 2 Ghosts. and there was something unpleasent on the Balcony Foyer.. I seen brief my predessor Bill Wakefield.. Then there was the Lady that got killed leaving the Theatre during an Air raid. There was a morning one. an old man used to watch the cleaning staff.. None of our spooks bothered the staff.. Except any workmen we had sleeping in the Balcony Foyer.. :eek:) That book is the bane of my life.... The Cinema Treasures site said I was wrong with my information because of that book.. which is full of errors.. Until.. I pointed out it was part owned by me .. The Theatre Opened Saturday April 4th 1925 with Broken Barriers Prices Balcony 1/- Rears Stalls 8d Front Stalls 6d

cap ad.jpg
 

paul stacey

master brummie
Thanks for posting "The Royalty" brumgum, my local cinema for about 12 years, went first when 6 yrs old for the Saturday Minors, took my first girlfriend there, went often in late 50's early sixty's with mates to meet girls, I remember waiting outside in all weathers to meet a girlfriend of the time, and went often as a lad with my Dad, saw, Shane, Ice cold in alex, the sea shall not have them, d day, so very many memories for me thanks again.paul
 
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