ABC Stourbridge

158 Lower High Street,
Stourbridge, DY8 1TS

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ABC Savoy Cinema

The Scala Cinema opened on 11th October 1920 with Isobel Elsom in "The Edge of Beyond", with Miss Elsom appearing in person. Designed by Birmingham architect Joseph Lawden in a Classical style, the narrow facade was framed by two columns that had terra cotta Hathernware tiling on its surround. Seating was provided in the auditorium on stalls and circle levels.

It was taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in September 1942, and was re-named Savoy Cinema on 20th September 1943. It was re-named ABC in 1968, and refurbished in 1978, with seating reduced to 780.

The ABC was closed on 6th November 1982. It was gutted internally and converted into a supermarket. Later used for storage, in early-1999, it was converted into a gymnasium, known as the Academy Health Club. On 8th April 2006, part of the building was opened as Heaven, a lap-dancing club. The facade remains basically unaltered.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 7, 2009 at 4:46 am

The ABC photographed playing the ABC release in April 1968:
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chrisjones on May 9, 2009 at 9:45 am

This cinema was tatty and rather sad in its last years. However, for a local lad of 14, it had the major advantage of very lax standards and it was very easy to therefore waltz into X certificates. Strangely, it generally always seemed rather busy (at least in the evenings) therefore it’s closure seemed odd at the time.

mlawden on September 14, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Joseph Lawden was my grandfather, though I never met him as he died suddenly of pneumonia in 1933 aged 45. He was apparently a kind father and a talented architect. In the depression he suffered financially when houses that he had built became unsaleable and he sadly took to drink. As a Methodist he would not have approved of his cinema becoming a lap dancing club.

Mike_Blakemore on October 17, 2011 at 3:47 am

In the early days The Theatre did Cine-Variety, When I did reliefs (Management) there I did a lot of exploring of the building. Behind the Pros that was built for Cinemascope. There was the original Theatre one intact complete with dressing rooms… Full of Junk… The Manager at the time had been told for years and years that it would be given a refurbishment. When it finally came.. He had a heart attack and died… Hmmm.. We always thought it was shock…

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on October 17, 2011 at 10:27 am

The above photo of the old time commissionaire reminds me of the classic British picture “The Smallest Show On Earth” with the remarkable Bernard Miles standing outside the Bijou… a film I shall never tire of watching, especially as Peter Sellers is the drunk projectionist and Margaret Rutherford as the dotty old cashier.

Mike_Blakemore on November 23, 2011 at 10:16 am

Have Loaded a picture of the Sales Kiosk.. The Scala before ABC. was part of the B.T. Davis Group of Birmingham…

Zuko1 on June 29, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Does anyone have any pictures of the ABC/Scala/Savoy cinema auditorium on here? This was my first cinema encounter & i would love to see inside the auditorium again.

Mike_Blakemore on June 29, 2016 at 4:17 pm

Prior to The ABC take over it was run as part of the BT Davis Circuit of Birmingham…

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