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My parents used to say that it was nicknamed ‘The Ranchuss’ by locals because of the number of Westerns that used to be shown there…
Not surprised to hear about the Hippodrome – Dudley Council isn’t exactly renowned for any appreciation of the built environment or the creative arts….
I remember going to the closing night, the poor usherettes were all in tears…!
I remember going to see ‘The Lords of Flatbush’ there one freezing cold Sunday afternoon….and being shown the projection room…BTH Supers?
After the closure I removed the illuminated clock from the rear of the stalls, and the art deco wall lights, and the ‘Linolite’ signs showing ‘Gents, 'Ladies’ ‘Projection Room’, and ‘Exit’. Still have these….
It was owned by Frank Green, who also owned the Mercury group of preview theatres in Wardour Street (Baronet, Coronet, Crown, Bijou(in Hammer House basement), and the dubbing theatre on the first floor of his office block (the name escapes me!). I worked as operator at night occasionally in the Roxie in 1983-4 when I was a preview projectionist in the Bijou. I remember watching ‘Pink Floyd:The Wall’, and ‘Koyaanisquatsi’ so many times….! Didn’t know it was ever called the Bijou – as far as I knew that was the preview theatre in the basement of Hammer House…
Remember going there in the late 1970’s with a retired ABC circuit engineer called Jim who lived in Wollaston… I was operating at the Lyttleton Cinema, Halesowen at the time. Remember it was a boring facade and auditorium, but LARGE and Jim gave me a strip of the CINERAMA screen which I still have….