Cannon Bristol Road

5 Bristol Road,
Birmingham, B5 7TT

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ABC Bristol Road

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in the Edgbaston district, just a short distance from Birmingham city centre. Quite a large cinema with very modern frontage and grand foyer, the Bristol Cinema opened on 16th May 1937 with Jane Wyatt in “Luckiest Girl in the World” and Richard Tauber in “Land Without Music”. It was owned by the Victoria Playhouse Group. Seating was provided in stalls and circle and the overal decorative scheme was a nautical Art Moderne style which had decorative plaster galleons of the Bristol sailing ship on each side of the proscenium, and it was initially these which gave the cinema its name, not the road it was located on. It was taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) from 1st January 1944 and was re-named ABC from August 1959. Closed on 4th May 1963 for conversion into a Cinerama theatre, which re-opened on 14th September 1963.

It was divided into a triple-screen operation in July 1972 with seating provided for 482, 353 and 175. In 1986 it was taken over by the Cannon Group and re-named Cannon. It was closed on 24th September 1987, and the building was sold for re-development, demolished later in 1987. The site of the cinema now contains a drive-through MacDonald’s restaurant.

Contributed by DEREK.L.HUNT

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

abcman
abcman on September 22, 2008 at 6:38 am

The ABC Cinema Bristol Road was never run by the Classic Cinema chain. It was with ABC from 1944 onwards until taken over by the Cannon Group.

demaine
demaine on June 18, 2011 at 6:35 am

Site of Cannon Cinema, Corner of Bristol Road & Belgrave Road.

Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on September 26, 2011 at 3:17 am

I have now put on the Cinemrama interior.. Still have not found the original interior views…

Johncine
Johncine on November 7, 2011 at 2:59 am

Some great memories here, although by the twilight year of 1987, the cinema was not really getting the custom it used to. Films like INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, SUPERMAN II and BACK TO THE FUTURE was long-runners here. I do remember watching the Charles Bronson movie ASSASSINATION and STAND BY ME and having to watch repeat screenings of the Music Promo for AN AMERICAN TAIL, SOMEWHERE OUT THERE. I also attended a preview of FLETCH in the autumn of 1985 and a double-bill of FIRST BLOOD and RAMBO 2

howardfamily
howardfamily on January 20, 2013 at 9:24 am

watched watership down here such a great loss these lovely old cinemas,instead they put up these ugly modern boxes with no charactor whatsoever if this is progress they can keep it, walking into a cinema doesnt excite me like it used too,its business business business no frills

SteveSidaway
SteveSidaway on December 9, 2013 at 7:55 am

Remember going there in the late 1970’s with a retired ABC circuit engineer called Jim who lived in Wollaston… I was operating at the Lyttleton Cinema, Halesowen at the time. Remember it was a boring facade and auditorium, but LARGE and Jim gave me a strip of the CINERAMA screen which I still have….

Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on December 9, 2013 at 10:23 am

@ Steve Sidway.. It was Jim Hunt… A Boring Exterior ?? It was designed by Hurley Robinson Still tastes differ. The Cinerama Interior was plain but that was the modern solution at the time.. Hmm the “Lyttleton Cinema” used a lot of bricks from The demolished Theatre in Walsall. Our family had an interest in..

terrywhite66
terrywhite66 on July 29, 2016 at 8:24 am

Hi Mike & Steve Yes it would be Jim Hunt. I remember him well as he gave me my first Chief’s position at the Majestic Bridgnorth in 1967.

He also arranged for me to transfer from the Bristol to the new ABC Hanley in late 1965.

I have fond memories of both the Bristol and ABC even after some forty years plus have elapsed.

Projection staff I can recall were : Dave Brinkworth Chief. Dave Thom Co-Chief. There were two other guys, both seconds I think, Brian and Geoff . Sorry but can’t recall surnames.

DavidRayner1947
DavidRayner1947 on August 7, 2016 at 1:18 pm

Here it is on an ABC News item in October, 1948, showing The Winslow Boy, with some of the stars of the film in attendance, including Margaret Leighton and Neil North. It was then known as the ABC BRISTOL, Birmingham.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7mQJeyjv8M

DavidRayner1947
DavidRayner1947 on August 7, 2016 at 11:48 pm

If you can’t click on the above link, copy and paste it into your browser.

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