Clifton Great Barr
564 Walsall Road,
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Built for and operated by Sydney W. Clift’s small independent Clifton Cinemas circuit, the Clifton Cinema in the north Birmingham suburb of Great Barr, (sometimes known as the Clifton Cinema, Perry Barr), was opened on 21st February 1938 with Richard Dix in “The Devil Is Driving” and Hazel Ascot in “Talking Feet”.
Set back from the busy Walsall Road at the corner of Tower Hill, the Clifton Cinema is an imposing building. The facade was brick, and had two rounded bays, with a recessed central section containing the entrance. Inside the auditorium, seating was provided in stalls and circle.
The Clifton Cinema closed on 10th November 1979 with "Lord of the Rings"(Animated version) and "Beyond Waikiki". It was converted into a bingo club, which continued as a Gala Bingo Club until closing in June 2008. It was converted into a Chinese restaurant, but this closed by 2011. In late-2011, there was proposals to convert the building into a banquet hall.
Tragedy struck in the early hours of 6th January 2012, when arsonists broke into the rear of the building setting it alight. It was over an hour before the fire was noticed and the fire brigade called to the scene. It took 2 hours to bring the blaze under control, and the former cinema was badly damaged.
The Clifton Cinema is a Grade II Listed building.
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