• Welcome to this forum . We are a worldwide group with a common interest in Birmingham and its history. While here, please follow a few simple rules. We ask that you respect other members, thank those who have helped you and please keep your contributions on-topic with the thread.

    We do hope you enjoy your visit. BHF Admin Team

Villa Cross Cinema

Big Gee

master brummie
Wow, that brings back a few memories! The last film I remember seeing there was "Behemoth The Sea Monster" with Andre Morrell, X-rated but laughably un-scary, even though I was only about 13 (and obviously big enough to get into X films). That would be about 1958. We also used the weird little sweet shop to the right of the cinema in the photo, for our 5 Park Drive to see us through the films. Then a stroll back home along Heathfield Road and Trinity Road, and total denial when we got in that we'd been anywhere near a picture-house.

Big Gee
 

Richie

Mr.Respectable
There you go Big Gee, an original 1958 poster for the film. Its in the American title of the film; the British poster might have differed but rare to track down and compare though.

View attachment 69878
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi richie..what a brill pic of the picture house..its certainly new to me...the little shop you see to the right of it is still there as its a listed building..oh happy days of going to this pic house every sat morning...thanks richie...

lyn
 
Last edited:

cookie273uk

master brummie
Here is a present day pic of the shop and the site where the Villa Cross stood, how very sad. I paid it many a visit in the late 50's when I lived in Queens Road Aston if nothing appealed to me at the 'Vic' or Astoria
 
Last edited:

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member

Great photo, thanks for posting it.



What can I see in the foreground, is it some kind of watertank from the war?
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
thanks for that pic eric...very sad that my childhood picture house has gone..morturn i wondered what that water was there for..ive got pics somewhere of the villa cross when it was under demolision..will see if i can find them...

lyn
 
Such a shame when you see it as a ton of rubble. Many memories of my youth were had in that Picture House.
I used to love that little Sweet Shop next door it used to remind me of something from a Dickens novel.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
oh i agree topsy...i used to buy pop by the glass from that little shop...if memory serves me right the film true grit starring john wayne was the last film i saw there.i can also remember going down to the front at the interval and dancing to puppet on a string..happy days..maybe you and i were going there at the same time...



lyn
 
Probably Lyn. I Can remember my friend and i going to see Goldfinger there but we had to ask someone to take us in with them as we were under age.
We sat right at the top of the Cinema so we could have a fag (tut tut) but we hadn,t got a match. The toilets up there still had a little gas lamp where we managed to get a light from.
 

Big Gee

master brummie
I haven't been down Villa Cross for years, but I think the land the Villa Cross was built on, and land adjacent to it, became a supermarket.

I think that little shop has featured on another thread in this forum.

Richie,

I meant to add that Andre Morrell starred in two of the BBC "Quatermass" series, and they were about as scary as something that isn't all that scary...

Big Gee
 

paul stacey

master brummie
looking at the first photo I wonder in my minds eye how many times my dear mom must have gone up those steps, she was always telling me the story of coming home one night in the war with my nan and aunt when they were machine gunned by a german plane.
paul
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
big gee you are quite right the ground that the villa cross actually stood on is now a car park and the supermarket was next to it...what a waste of space that was..

paul...what a story about the german plane..thank goodness your mom.nan and aunt lived to tell the tale..it must have been very scary for them all..

topsy..great story about the ciggies and the gas lamp..

lyn
 

roverman

master brummie
I also have happy memories of the Villa Cross Cinema, I particularly remember going to see "The Jolson Story" which I think was showing in the late 40's. To relive those memories I recently bought a DVD of the film which also included "Jolson Sings Again". They don't make 'em like that anymore !!
Regards Reg
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
HI COOKIE
Hope you are well; do you mean you never went to the three penny crush at the vic ;
to see flash gordon on the morning or afternnon mattnee when i think about the crush all the kids of aston must have been there
i was there day and night or i would go to the astoria ;my last film i seen there in my life at the astoria was roy rogers
and when i came out i got knocked down way back in 1953
went with my uncle joe and my brothers to the villa never liked there , and regards to the revamp i thought at the time they never done much to it inside replaced a couple of seats and done a nice frontage only ; never rated the villa picture house
have a good day cookie best wishes alan astonian
 

cookie273uk

master brummie
Alan never went as a child to Villa Cross, went between the years 1944 to1948 (aged 14 to 18 )then away in RAF for 8 years till 1956 then I may have occassionally gone again in my late twenties until 1962 when we moved to Erdington, my childhood was spent in Sheldon and Shirley, although I was born in Aston 1930 but left when I was just 4 years old. I preferred the Astoria or better still 'up town' on the 3X tram to Gaumont or Odeon if I could afford it Eric
 
Last edited:

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
I also have happy memories of the Villa Cross Cinema, I particularly remember going to see "The Jolson Story" which I think was showing in the late 40's. To relive those memories I recently bought a DVD of the film which also included "Jolson Sings Again". They don't make 'em like that anymore !!
Regards Reg

hi roverman here is a pic of the cinema and you can just see thats its showing the jolson story...the date on the pic says 1962 so im not sure if that date is correct if you saw it in the forties...im trying to put a date on the car and van..mind you they could have shown it more than once...

lyn
 

roverman

master brummie
Hello Astoness, the picture is no doubt 1962 judging by the car on the right which is definitely 1960's, perhaps the film was re-run in 1962. the reason I remember is that I had a girlfriend at the time who lived in George Street and the "Villa" was our local cinema, this was before I went in the RAF in January 1949.( I won't give her name so as to protect the innocent !!)
Checking the internet to confirm, the film was originally released in 1946
Regards Reg
 
Top