Rock Cinema

Alum Rock Road,
Saltley,
Birmingham, B8

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Rock Cinema

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Located in the Saltley district of Birmingham. The Rock Cinema opened on 15th January 1934 with Gracie Fields in “This Week of Grace”, and a Laurel & Hardy short.

Designed by architectural firm Satchwell and Roberts, with Roland Satchwell acting as supervising architect. The builder was C. Bryant & Sons, and it was owned by Regalia Cinema Company (Birmingham) Ltd, who’s principle directors were Leon Salberg and Sydney Clift. An interesting note regarding the projection equipment is that Western Electric was installed, and not the usual BTH which Clifton Cinemas installed.

The Rock Cinema later came under the control of C. Bryant of the Coronet Group of cinemas. It seems also that Clifton booked the films for the Rock Cinema only, with all other services required to run the cinema being done at the Coronet Cinema. On the death of Clift the Coronet Group did their own booking. The Rock Cinema later become majority owned by the C. Bryant & Son. The last manager was Leslie Gibbons, who went on to close the Atlas Cinema, the Sheldon Cinema, the Beaufort Cinema and the Kingsway Cinema.

The Rock Cinema was closed on Sunday 16th January 1972 with Kent Taylor in “Phantom from 10,000 Leagues”. The building was sold to Whitehouse and Kendrick for conversion into a bingo club, later passing to Ladbrokes Bingo and then to Gala Bingo. It has now been demolished.

Contributed by Mike Blakemore

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Robbie25646
Robbie25646 on September 9, 2012 at 2:35 am

An aunt and uncle lived just slightly up the hill from here Los Angeles Theatre back of 44 Alum Rock Road. If I really behaved myself I was taken to the Rock as a special treat.

Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on September 9, 2012 at 4:11 am

Robbie Hows the Los Angeles Theatre got in Alum Rock I never noticed it :o) Someones having a senior moment…

colinsmith
colinsmith on February 26, 2013 at 9:33 am

are there any old timers there who worked at the Rock in the 1950’s? I started as a trainee projectionist at the forum and eventually moved to the Rock which was closer to home. I remember a few names of the employees – phil barnett, fred grogan, and a couple of young guys, chris and vic, whose last names i forget. also, does anyone recall the name of a cinema on alum rock road, which was in the vicinity of highfield road.

Robbie25646
Robbie25646 on February 26, 2013 at 9:42 am

Mike It must have been a very senior moment :) Sorry about that. It should have read 5 back of 44 Alum Rock Road.

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