Gala Cinema

Bristol Street,
Birmingham, B5

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The Cinephone

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally opened in 1913 as the Electric Picture House, it was located on Bristol Street on the corner of Wrentham Street. Within a year of opening, it had changed its name to the Bristol Street Picture House. In 1923, it was demolished and a new cinema was built to the plans of architect Horace G. Bradley, known as the Broadway Cinema. It was owned by the Victoria Playhouse Group.

The Broadway Cinema was remodeled to the plans of architect H. Werner Rosenthal, and re-opened on 26th April 1956 as the Cinephone Cinema. Style was Modern Continental, with stalls, circle and a Continental style coffee/snack bar. Managed by the Jacey Cinemas chain, who also owned the News Theatre and the Tatler Cinemas in Birmingham.

It was later taken over by the Gala Cinemas chain by the 1970’s, and closed after a period as the Climax Cinema which screened uncensored sex films up until 1984. It was afterward demolished, with a car showroom built on the site.

I was second operator there in 1959-60. Projection equipment was two BTH Super MK2’s, using Xenon arcs with all lighting controls motorised.

Contributed by Brian Campbell

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

AndrewHope
AndrewHope on May 3, 2007 at 3:26 am

The projectors had to be put on one foot stands to clear the heads of the people in balcony, the theater also featured a floating screen with a white picture frame and no masking for regular size films and cinemascope, the manager at the time I was there was Mr Ron Catton, he lived in Sutton Coldfield.

AndrewHope
AndrewHope on May 3, 2007 at 3:30 am

I can remember one day the cast of Crossroads TV show came to the Cinephone for a visit, Sandy came to the box for a tour, do you remember that show, Audrey from Coronation Street was in it.

AndrewHope
AndrewHope on May 3, 2007 at 3:30 am

I can remember one day the cast of Crossroads TV show came to the Cinephone for a visit, Sandy came to the box for a tour, do you remember that show, Audrey from Coronation Street was in it.

woody
woody on January 22, 2008 at 3:11 am

exterior shot taken around 1990 when the Fiat dealership had moved out, by this point you could wander into the derelict building, the interior had been stripped back to plain concrete walls, wish i had taken more photos
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Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on September 17, 2011 at 10:47 am

In 1956 The Broadway Cinema was Taken over by the Rodgers Family (Victory Playhouse Group) Who bought it with another 2 Cinemas Warwick Acocks Green and the Era Cinema.. at an auction selling 1 Week later to Jacey Cinemas..

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