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Located in the Sparkbrook district of Birmingham. The Waldorf Picture Theatre opened on 29th November 1913. It was built, owned and managed by Mr J.W. Atkinson. The cinema had an all female orchestra as an added attraction. Seating was provided for 820 on a stadium plan, with a raised stepped section at the rear. The proscenium was 35 feet wide.
The Waldorf Picture Theatre was badly damaged by German bombs during World War II and was closed by 1944. In early-1950, the cinema was properly repaired and refurbished to the plans of the Harry Weedon Practice who also supervised the works. Among the improvements was a new Moderne style facade. It was re-opened as the Waldorf Cinema on Easter Monday, 10th April 1950 with Errol Flynn in “The New Adventures of Don Juan”.
The Waldorf Cinema was taken over by Parry Amalgamations Ltd. Even in the 1970’s it took good money with old Anglo American films. The policy was to book films by title, most being action packed, e.g. old Steve Reeves films. I remember when doing relief management at the nearby ABC Sparkbrook, it was always packed out. From the mid-1970’s it was sold to an Asian operator, who screened East Indian(Bollywood) films. Closed in 1983 due to loss of its Cinematograph Licence, the building became derelict.
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