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Birmingham Cinemas

Ogri

knowlegable brummie
any body remember the Greet cinema,by the Watsonian factory down from the Greet inn & the prefabs,i used to live in them.
Ogri
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Ogri

I think the cinema in Greet was called the Tyseley. The prefabs have gone, the Greet Inn has gone, the Tyseley Cinema has gone and Watsonian Sidecars have gone but at least the buildings of the last two remain.
 

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  • Tyseley Warwick Rd Tyseley Cinema.jpg
    Tyseley Warwick Rd Tyseley Cinema.jpg
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sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
When we were kids in the late 1940s, the Tyseley Cinema seemed to be forever showing Ali Baba and the B film was Hellzapoppin. I think that the whole audience had seen the films umpteen times and, shall we say, was disruptive and noisy. Periodically the manager would stop the film and threaten to throw us all out if we didn't stay quiet. We did, for about five minutes, and then the noise would start again. I think we only went when we were bored to get up the manager's nose!

Maurice
 

Ogri

knowlegable brummie
Thanks Phil,the picture is how i remember it in the 50's early 60's,i left the area in the early 70's & only passed through about 25 years ago so it is a bit of a shock to google down the Warwick road & see the changes.
Ogri
 

caggyken

master brummie
You only went to the Tyseley if you were realy desperate and had seen all the films showing at the other local cinemas. We always called it the flee pit in
the late 40s-early 50s
 

Mike Blakemore

master brummie
Does anyone ever remember being bitten by a flea at the pictures?


The Expression "FLEA PIT" as used in Cinemas.. Comes from the class of Patrons that used the Cinema in question... Not the Actual Building... Birmingham Cinemas had a company come in 4 times per anum to clean and Treat the seats and carpets The main one that did cinemas in the UK was "Rapid Cleaners Ltd.," The Birmingham Licensing required this under the terms of License...
 

paul stacey

master brummie
I think we all had a flea pit near us in the 50's, ours was "The Weoley Cinema" in Barns hill, known to all who loved it as the (WOB) .paul
 

Mike Blakemore

master brummie
Did you know Albert Harris? He was the Manager of most of the Birmingham cinemas at one time and another.

Hmm ??? Birmingham had 120 plus Cinemas... Albert Harris was manager of the ABC Oak Cinema Selly Oak.. most of his Full Managerial Life. Then moved to ABC Cinema New Street in about 1973.. When Peter Aulbert moved to Bristol Road.. Albert retired 1975 ish. I used to relief him at Selly Oak and once at New Street just before I left ABC to Take over "The Capitol" Alum Rock...

The Record for Different Theatres is between Arnold Lewis of ABc and Leslie Gibbons of the Independants.. Any Theatre these went to.... Staff Knew the Cinemas days where numbered..
 

Delyawindsor21

knowlegable brummie
He lived next door to me when I was a child, he also managed the Palace, Erdington and the Plaza, Stockland Green.
He was still alive up until five years ago. When I did a short visit to St Tomas Road. Have not been back to Birmingham since, thanks for the reply. Dee.
 

Mike Blakemore

master brummie
He lived next door to me when I was a child, he also managed the Palace, Erdington and the Plaza, Stockland Green.
He was still alive up until five years ago. When I did a short visit to St Tomas Road. Have not been back to Birmingham since, thanks for the reply. Dee.


You are right Palace Erdington was Prior to The Oak.. Prior to The Palace. Could have been "The Picture House Erdington.. The Plaza Stockland Green belonged to us The Capitol... ABC did not own it, and Frank Reago Managed it all its life ABC had around 25 halls and where Graded AA A B and Special..
(I have a Picture of Albert somewhere)
 

Delyawindsor21

knowlegable brummie
I remember. Frank , Albert filled in for him when he had his holidays, I never once paid for my Saturday afternoon matinee, lucky little girl..... Did Frank own the Star Picture House on Slade Road as well ? My Mum worked there for a while. Almost next to my old School, Slade Road infants and juniors.
 

Delyawindsor21

knowlegable brummie
Would love to see your picture, Albert or Mr Harris as I was told to call him was a true gentleman, he looked after his Mum for years and finally, when she died, he got to live with his lovely wife, who had been looking after her Mum.
He was very good to my Mum and me and my brother, like I said, a gentleman.
 

jennyann

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Staff member
Frank Riego ( I have spelled his name wrong in the past) lived down the road from me and I saw him frequently when growing up as his house was across the road from my school on Marsh Hill. Also, I went often to the matinees at the Plaza in the l940's and early 1950's. We always knew when he was at the Plaza as he parked his Rover car outside. Our family knew him as the Manager at the Plaza for decades. Mr. Riego exercised his several Alsatian dogs at the bottom of the gully close to our house on most mornings. I saw the dogs with Mr. R on my way to school and was quite frightened by them. Perhaps it was because Mr. R often used to feed them raw meat in the gully! He was the President of the Birmingham Alsatian Dog Association for many years. Never heard that Mr. Riego owned the Star. There are a few threads about the Star Picture House on the Forum at https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=15927&page=2
 

Mike Blakemore

master brummie
As The General Manager of the Parent Company.. I had to deal with the Closing of the Plaza Stockland Green... I had to go on the Stage and Deliver "The Chaimans Speech" before the Main feature.. Then for the next 2 weeks I had to oversea the stripping out of the Theatre Before handing over the Theatre to Lennons Supermakets Before we Bought the "Stockland Green Playhouse Co.," That Company uesed to Own The Apollo Tyburn Road. and the Lyric Edward St... Frank had nothing to do with the "Star" Slade road

I still have the Plaza Circle entrance Velvet Curtains.. (Redyed) up in my Bay Window during the winter :smug:
 

Delyawindsor21

knowlegable brummie
Mike,
That's a lovely story, so many happy memories, the curtains must have been very expensive, I wish someone knew who owned :The Star: I just remember a rather rotund gentleman in the foyer each time I went there..... Sad all the theatres became supermarkets or, like the one in Wylde Green, can't remember what it was called, became a Bowling Alley !
Thanks for the info, really interesting.
 
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