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Selly Oak Cinema - 1932

 Selly Oak Cinema 1932
Selly Oak Cinema, at the junction of Chapel Lane and the Bristol Road at the heart of the 'triangle' site currently occupied by the Sainsbury's Superstore.

This photograph was easy to date thanks to the poster on the wall of Mr Dickson, the grocer. 'The Bill of Divorcement', based on a play by Clemence Dane, was a movie made in 1932 and starred John Barrymore, Billie Burke, David Manners and Katherine Hepburn.

The cinema at 763 Bristol Road opened on 4th February 1924 with the showing of the film, "Chu Chin Chow". When the cinema opened it had a seating capacity of 900 in the stalls and 300 in the balcony. The seating was increased in 1935 and the building refurbished. When the 'Oak' re-opened in December, prices of admission ranged from 6d - sixpence or 2½ new pence to 1/6 - 1 shilling and sixpence or 7½ new pence and you had the choice of 'George White's Scandals' with Alice Faye and James Dunn or 'The Flame Within', starring Ann Harding and Herbert Marshall. In July 1951, the Oak Cinema was voted the second cleanest cinema in the country and the manager, Roy Fielder was presented with a Silver Medal by chairman of the Birmingham Public Entertainments Committee, A. H. Sayer.

The Cinema changed hands in the 1960s and became one of a chain of ABC cinemas. This lasted until April 1978 when the building changed hands once again. This further change was short lived as the cinema closed its doors to the public on the 3rd November 1979. The final films it played were 'The Spaceman and King Arthur' a science-fiction comedy and the Disney movie 'Dumbo'. The building stood derelict for another five years and was demolished in December 1984.
Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service
Digital Birmingham Photo Archive
Library Services: Photo Archive - 1930s