Beaufort Cinema

Coleshill Road,
Ward End,
Birmingham, B8 2NA

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Beaufort Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located at the corner of Coleshill Road and Stechford Lane in the Ward End district east of Birmingham. The Beaufort Cinema was opened on 4th August 1929 with Matheson Lang in "The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel" and a seating capacity for 1,200. It had a magnificent Tudor style interior. There was a real Oak wood staircase up to the balcony seating area, and many beautiful stained glass windows in the foyer which depicted Kings & Queens of England. It was equipped with a Compton 2Manual/8Ranks organ, which was opened by organist J.I. Taylor. The projection box was located in the rear stalls, under the balcony.

In 1937, the cinema was enlarged by extending at the screen end, and it now had a 35 feet wide proscenium. The Compton organ was removed at this time and was installed at the EMI recording studios at Abbey Road, St. John’s Wood, London. The Beaufort Cinema re-opened on 18th September 1937 with “Madeleine Carroll in "The Case Against Mrs. Ames” and Frances Farmer in “Border Flight”. It had a new seating capacity for 1,584.

Always independently operated, the Beaufort Cinema was closed on 19th August 1978 with Doug McClure in "Warlords of Atlantis" and Terence Hill in "Watch Out We’re Mad". There were hopes that the cinema could be designated a ‘Listed’ building, but the powers that be at that time deemed it’s interior as fake, and not real Tudor, and listing was refused. Sadly, the Beaufort Cinema was demolished and a B&Q hardware store was built on the site, which in 2009 is an Aldi supermarket.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on December 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Great intro as always Ken, interesting story of the organ being installed in the EMI studios,I wonder if it is still there and how many artists have used it in their recordings?

manniemain
manniemain on March 8, 2014 at 9:15 pm

This organ saw a great deal of use at Abbey Road particularly accompanying other artistes. If you go to http://theatreorgans.com/southerncross/radiogram/ukfiles.htm there are some recordings of it in a solo capacity. It is now being installed in a private venue in Norfolk.

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