Apollo Picture Playhouse

987 Tyburn Road,
Birmingham, B24 0TJ

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Additional Info

Architects: A.L. Snow

Styles: Atmospheric

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Apollo Picture Playhouse

Located in the Pype Hayes area of Erdington district of Birmingham. The Apollo Picture Playhouse was opened on 3rd March 1930 with John Breedon in "Follies of 1929". The brick exterior had a pediment over the entrance portico and flanking wings in unglazed terra-cotta. Inside the auditorium, seating was provided in stalls and circle levels. The Atmospheric style of decoration had large false windows along the side walls from which rays of light were shone across the deeply curved ceiling ‘sky’. It was the first cinema in Birmingham to be equipped with a Holophane lighting system, which used a reflection to create lighting effects ranging from from evening to daylight. Above the proscenium was a decorative feature depicting Apollo in her chariot The Apollo Picture Theatre was equipped with a Compton 2Manual/6Ranks organ which was opened by organist Geoffrey King.

The Apollo Picture Playhouse continued as a successful independent cinema for many years. In 1958, the Compton organ was removed to a private residence. The cinema was closd on 1st April 1960 with Kirk Douglas in "Last Train From Gun Hill" and Anthony Quinn in "High Hell". It was subsequently demolished and a Select and Save shop now operates from the site, which is part of a newly built parade of shops with flats above.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

MikeJC on September 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Philip Morton Shand, in his book “Modern Theatres and Cinemas” published by Batsford in 1930, was extremely critical of the Apollo’s architect A.L. Snow and of this theatre in particular, comparing it most unfavourably with contemporary examples in Europe.

Mike_Blakemore on September 19, 2012 at 11:42 am

“One Mans meat is another mans poison” as the old saying go’s…

Mike_Blakemore on July 7, 2017 at 3:04 am

The Theatre was owned by “The Stockland green playhouse co.,

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