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Birmingham Cinemas

Chris B

master brummie
As they did not provide a seat they ought to gave refunded your entrance
There was always a misconception with regard to admission price to a cinema, the admission price is to view the film, there are seats for you when available, in the old days when the cinemas were very busy quite often people stood at the back to view the film when all the seats were taken, granted it was usually the job of a doorman or attendant to inform the patrons of the availability of seats or otherwise.
 

Chris B

master brummie
To add to Di's list. The Gaumont, where I saw the first film of my life
"Snow White". The West End, The Scala in Smallbrook Street, knocked down in mid 50s to make way for the "new" Bull Ring. I also went once to the Gaiety in Coleshill Street, and I think it was called the Rookery in Handsworth not sure. When I was about 13 years old we were mad about "Annie Get Your Gun", and would follow it round the circuit.

THE ROOKERY PICTURE PALACE. Rookery Road Handsworth opened in April 1914 with the film the White Witch, it seated 700. It was advertised as the Coolest House In The Midlands" In 1920 it became the headquaters of the Cinematograph Exhibitors Association, it closedrookery - Copy.jpg rookery - Copy.jpg rookery - Copy.jpg down in February 1957 and the building was used as a religious temple.
 
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Chris B

master brummie
Sylvia, there was never a cinema called the rookery in handsworth, could it have been the Regal you're thinking of?
THE ROOKERY PICTURE PALACE. Rookery Road Handsworth opened in April 1914 with the film the White Witch, it seated 700. It was advertised as the Coolest House In The Midlands" In 1920 it became the headquaters of the Cinematograph Exhibitors Association, it close down in February 1957 and the building was used as a religious temple.
 

A Sparks

master brummie
THE ROOKERY PICTURE PALACE. Rookery Road Handsworth opened in April 1914 with the film the White Witch, it seated 700. It was advertised as the Coolest House In The Midlands" In 1920 it became the headquaters of the Cinematograph Exhibitors Association, it close down in February 1957 and the building was used as a religious temple.

For a number of years, before it became a Temple, it was The Plaza, a music venue which featured many famous and subsequently famous bands/ groups of the late 50s and 60s.
 

PeterClay

New Member
Sylvia, there was never a cinema called the rookery in handsworth, could it have been the Regal you're thinking of?
There was a cinema called The Rookery. It was in Rookery Road between Aylesford Road and Mervyn Road. After closing as a cinema Pop groups used to perform there [including the Beatles]
 

PeterClay

New Member
I have a vague memory of a derelict cinema in Baker Street. [Ist on the right past Grove Lane] There is a carpark there now and it is a cul-de-sac, but in my youth it joined up with Dawson Road. Until about 50 years ago I could remember the name of the cinema. Unfortunately I can find no evidence to support this memory. We had quite a few cinemas to choose from in Handsworth. The Albion [up by the New Inns] The Regal, The Grand Picture Palace, The Elite, The Rookery and not too far away the Villa Cross and the Paladium
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
I have a vague memory of a derelict cinema in Baker Street. [Ist on the right past Grove Lane] There is a carpark there now and it is a cul-de-sac, but in my youth it joined up with Dawson Road. Until about 50 years ago I could remember the name of the cinema. Unfortunately I can find no evidence to support this memory. We had quite a few cinemas to choose from in Handsworth. The Albion [up by the New Inns] The Regal, The Grand Picture Palace, The Elite, The Rookery and not too far away the Villa Cross and the Paladium
Were the Regal and the Elite on the right hand side of Soho Road as you came from Birmingham to West Bromwich. Cinemas where you could catch the old films? One night in the 1960s when we lived in South Road we went to one of them, went in at 6.30pm and came out 1110pm, the two films wer a Town \Like Alice and the Glenn Miller Story, all for about 1/9d each. Lived in Erdington and Handsworth, so the Sutton Coldfield, Erdington and occasionally the Beaufort via the Outer Circle bus were all favourite, but also managed Slade Road and Stockland Green and on occasions the Odeon Perry Barr. What a wonderful choice we had. By the way whatever happened to the Cinephione, trying to show my girlfriend how up market and intelligent I was, I took her to see a film called 'Buckets of Blood'....modern jazz sound track.....I am surprised we stayed together after that!! Keep up the memories, because in a minute no-one will realise what life was really like back in the 'bad' old days.

Bob Davis
 

Chris B

master brummie
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
photos of the PLAZA Stockland Green
 

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Chris B

master brummie
capitol original.jpg capitol  modified.jpg View attachment 107937 View attachment 107938 View attachment 107938
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.
Pictures of the CAPITOL before and after extending the auditorium, notice the projection room is now situated on the roof over the balcony lounge whereas it was underneath the balcony when it was originally opened.View attachment 107937
 

Chris B

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
A few pics of the ROYALTY
 

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Lady Penelope

master brummie
Thank you Chris B for the pictures of the Plaza. I had just logged on to ask if anyone had a picture of the Co-op at Stockland Green and there, just tucked in to you second shot is the very place!
 

Ray Griffiths

master brummie
Hi Folks The attached picture was on the forum some time ago.

I think the info shown in this picture could be wrong, this picture is only a few doors up from Six Ways Junction and on the wrong side of the road.
The Lozells Picture that was damaged 1942 was further up the road on the other side by Berner St. And Lozells St.
 

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Astonian

gone but not forgotten
Hi ray
The Electric cinema, opened on 27 December 1909 , is the UK,s oldest working cinema
It was birmingham,s first cinema and predated the introduction of the 1909 Cinematograph Act
That Commenced in January 1910
 

paul stacey

master brummie
Thanks, "ChrisB", Just seen the #1532, post tears in my eyes at the delapidated state of the "Old Royalty", so many memories, so sad. Paul
 
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