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Birmingham Cinemas

Jayell

master brummie
When my mother was a girl in the 1920's her ambition was to play the piano in a cinema to the silent films! She never got to do this though! Judy
 

handlebar

knowlegable brummie
Williamstreet,
In the 50's I used to cycle past the Ledsam, so decided to visit one Saturday afternoon. I entered to find the film half way through and empty, apart from myself. The echo made the sound unintelligible, but as the locals started to arrive the echo disappeared and dialogue could be understood. Only remember it was very cheap to get in and the film was a western. Do you know if they installed Cinemascope? Would have loved to see an internal picture.
 

Robert Ensor (bob)

master brummie
Banjo,

Asking random adults to take us in to see an A film was something we all did. I certainly did it many times at the Rialto.

Maurice :cool:
I think a lot us did that, but also asking a big kid to buy fireworks (bangers) , I remember one time the manager came asking us who we where with during the film and I pointed out two guys with girls two rows in front of us and he left.
 

FNQBRUMMIE

proper brummie kid
There were so many cinemas back in the day. I was from Sheldon and so that was my local and the first one on the Coventry Road. Then there were so many on that bus route to town and I think I went to them all but can I remember them ?
The Sheldon, The Tivoli at the Swan roundabout, then there was one on the left in Hay Mills, then one on the right before you got to the Kingston by the Blues ground. That was just my part of the city, then the big ones in town-The Odeon, The Gaumont, The West End where my mum took me to watch El Cid. It was while watching that film that the realisation hit me that people died, as I was sure Charlton Heston couldnt be dead but he was. Strapped to that horse. Sadly he was.
 

tim eborn

master brummie
All of the forgoing. On the last day at Handsworth Tech in 1954 a few of us bad boys went to the Regal and on leaving we said we would meet back there in ( I think ) 5 years. If any of you did I must apologise that I forgot. Cheers Tim
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
A 1938 aerial photo of the Imperial Cinema on Moseley Road. It shows what looks like a glass-roofed lean-to along the side of the cinema in Clifton Road. The screen area is noticeable on the end of the building.

linked pic only visible if logged in.
 

Phil

Retired Layabout
Hi Phil,

I certainly remember the Imperial Cinema (later The Cave), I used it when it was a cinema every Saturday afternoon for years at the kids matinee at 6d a session. I don't remember the glass roofed lean-to that you indicate being there in the early 50's and it was certainly gone tin the 60's as indicated by this photo of my old 3rd year form tutor at Dennis Road School Mr Jones taken outside the side exit of the cinema on Clifton Road.

Balsall Heath Imperial.jpgBalsall Heath Clifton Rd Mr Jones.jpg
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Phil,
My theory about the lean-to is that visiting cinemas in the 1930s was so popular folks actually queued and the cinema thoughtfully sheltered them on rainy days. Your pic shows however that it would have been over a public footpath.
Skating Phil ... :)
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
The Imperial Cinema building's screen area looks like the back of an unknown building we were searching for some years ago. It obviously is not the Imperial Cinema but could possibly be some other cinema in Brum.
that definitely seems to have been decided, so will put these on. There are five unknown ones, all taken successively on the film. I suspect they are all in the same area, but, other than the last two, which run together, I cannot say definitely that they are in the same area. the first one reminds me of some I took of Lawrence St, but I'm fairly sure, though not certain this is not from there.The shots immediately before were in Wright St Small Heath, and the one after of the brewery in Cato St north, but again I do not know if the fives are from those areas. I have posted them all together as they MIGHT be from the same area, so as to let you know that
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
I agree that they look very similar, but, as I remember it, the back of many cinemas looked similar
 

Phil

Retired Layabout
Phil

I suppose the lean-to could have been a bike shed, as there was certainly no car park. I don't think it was for queuing as the payment kiosk could only be reached via the front lobby.
 

tim eborn

master brummie
When I was a kid we used to go to the Imperial and got on the tram or bus at the intersection of Highgate and Moseley Rds.It was only one stop but quite a long one. If the conductor asked for the fare we would ask for a penny ticket knowing that there was only a 1and halfpenny fare for this section. The idea was that this would be explained to us and we would be put off at the next stop ( outside the cinema ) and not have to pay.
They must have got wise to us and the one time we were made to pay the one and halfpenny and we were short of our picture money. I can only recall one picture seen there "Sanders of the River " featuring Paul Robson.
Don't remember the covered pavement and if we walked there we went up Ladypool Rd (The Lane ) and turned right to get to Moseley Rd and The Pictures.
Cheers Tim
 
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