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The Star cinema

ASTONITE

master brummie
Don't know if this has been asked before, but was the Star on Slade road, the only cinema in brum with no upstairs, I can rememember it was only 4d for the saturday matinee, whereas most of the others cost a tanner.
 

jennyann

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Staff member
Hi Astonian: When I saw your post about The Star Cinema, the first recollection was that the matinee was 4d. The Plaza, Stockland Green was 6d
if I recall and a much larger and posher establishment. I remember The Star only having one level also. I don't know if it was the only "one level" cinema in Brum. Someone else might know. Thanks for the photo....brings back memories. I remember coming back from town on the No.65 bus and watching the place close down and then become a car showroom and then disappear altogether.
 

coopbill7

very old brummie
I remember the Star cinema very well, when I was in the Erdington cottage homes,if you elected to go to the "pictures"(instead of having pocket money,) we had to queue in a seperate line from the other children
 

Alf

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Astonite your photo of the Star says it was taken 1955 sadly it Closed for good in 1957.

Two years National Service 1955 to 57 and they knocked down one of my local Cinemas.:(
 

sylviasayers

master brummie
The Globe cinema Aston didn't have an upstairs either. You went up a flight of stairs to reach the back of the cinema - dearer seats - then it sloped downwards as you neared the screen, and there was an exit at the front on the left of the screen into New Street.
 

Alf

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Nice one Sylvia Mom paid for my late Sister and myself to sit in the dear seats to watch the Saturday show and it was sixpence and we always sat by the exit on the left with the Brass polished rails so we could get out first. This was in the 1940s and always got us some fruit to take at the time she worked in the Greengrocery part at Giffins:)
 

Lynda Harvey

Brummie Born and Bred
Although I was only twelve when the Star closed down, I must have spent many a happy hour there over the years. The saturday matinee was 4d or 6d. 6d meant you sat further towards the back. I was given 9d so I had threpence to spend on a sherbet dab or something, from the sweet shop on the corner of George Road. The last film shown there was Pal Joey, and the bill board was there for many years after. I went to Slade Road juniors, and used to come out of school and go straight to the pictures. Mom often had to come and fetch me out, as I would watch the feature twice if I could. I did graduate to the Stockland, but the Star was the one with all the memories.
Lynda
 

Alf

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Lynda, its been said before but I for one don't mind saying it again, this is what this great Forum is all about.

Pal Joey ( Frank Sinatra)
As I have said I was in the Army at that time and I was a keen on his records. One day a parcel arrived for me at the camp as usual I thought it was from Mother.
But no it was from my late Sister and guess what was in the parcel a packet of Cigs, sweets a postal order and best of all the LP PAL JOEY.

It was the Sound track of the Film. My Sister had won the Bingo not much in those days and thought of me and my love of Franks music.

I've still got the LP battered and torn and very much worn but it never lets me forget my Sister:)
 
V

Vintage Brumie

Guest
I remember the Star cinema very well, when I was in the Erdington cottage homes,if you elected to go to the "pictures"(instead of having pocket money,) we had to queue in a seperate line from the other children
Hi there,
I've just seen your posting about the star cinema.
Was that the one situated next to "The Swan Pub" almost opposite "The Palace" cinema on the other side of "the horseroad" ?

If I remember rightly, it was known locally as "the flea pit". It had a wooden floor and every time someone walked down the isle the thump thump thump distracted one from concenrating from the film.

I preferred to go to "The Palace", at least one could go upstairs. I and my mates also frequented "The Palace Ballroom" to the dances there. They were run by a man called Phillips and the band was superb.

... all a long long time ago ....
 

Alf

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Brumie The Star was in Slade Road near Gravelly Hill, The Palace was in High Street Erdington, The Palace was coverted from a public Hall and had a new auditorium built behind it, closed for the work and reopened 22nd Jan 1923.:)
 

goldfinch

knowlegable brummie
HI! Do you happen to know if this cinema has been known as the Gravelly Hill Picture HOuse? My great uncle was a 'cinema photographer ' there before WW1 and he has listed this as his place of work on his medical records, when he was discharged. Many thanks in advance!

Don't know if this has been asked before, but was the Star on Slade road, the only cinema in brum with no upstairs, I can rememember it was only 4d for the saturday matinee, whereas most of the others cost a tanner.
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Hi Goldfinch,

When the Star opened in 1914 it was known as the Gravelly Hill Picture House, the manager was a Mr E.Russell Yeulett. The building was demolished in 1981.

Phil
 

ASTONITE

master brummie
It must be hard to envisage nowadays, especially for youngsters, that in the mid 1940s, there were 84 cinemas listed in Birmingham alone, I bet there's not many on this list still standing!View attachment 45227
 

goldfinch

knowlegable brummie
Hello Phil
Many thanks for your very quick response!! How did you establish who the Manager was? My (husband's) Great Uncle was John Harold Hooke (son of Hookes the Stonemasons on Gravelly Hill) and we are confused about the actual place of work - I've gone back into the records and he described this as the Electric Picture House and Gravelly Hill Picture House - two different locations as verified by the photos on the site. I am checking ebay too, to see if there are any postcards to send to relations in the US. Hoping to go into Birmingham next week to buy some books and do more research at the Central Library - cheers again for your help! Jo
 

goldfinch

knowlegable brummie
Hello Phil
Many thanks for your very quick response!! How did you establish who the Manager was? My (husband's) Great Uncle was John Harold Hooke (son of Hookes the Stonemasons on Gravelly Hill) and we are confused about the actual place of work - I've gone back into the records and he described this as the Electric Picture House and Gravelly Hill Picture House - two different locations as verified by the photos on the site. I am checking ebay too, to see if there are any postcards to send to relations in the US. Hoping to go into Birmingham next week to buy some books and do more research at the Central Library - cheers again for your help! Jo​
 

sylviasayers

master brummie
Astonite, great to read through that list of mostly bygone cinemas, I visited so many of them. Did you notice that there was a different programme for Sundays for the surburban cinemas, I think it was something to do with licensing laws of the time. In those days it was common to go to the pictures 3 times a week, some cinemas changed the programmes, Sunday old films, MTW new releases, change TFS also new releases.
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Goldfinch

This is the source of the information I quoted its from Victor J Price's excellent book Birmingham Cinemas.

As you can see there is no mention of the Star ever being called The Electric, from the same source I have found that 3 cinemas in Birmingham were called the Electric. There was the one in Station St in the city, The Electric Picture House on Bristol St that later became The Cinephone, The Electric Theatre on Coventry Rd Small heath that was later to be called Casino cinema.

Phil

001-2.jpg
 

Tomo

proper brummie kid
Hi Vintage. The cinema that your thinking of next to the "Swan Pub", was called the "Picture House" as you say a real "Flea pit".
There was no upstairs balcony, just a single story building.
 
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