Birmingham, MI - Historic Birmingham 8 movie theater being modernized

posted by ThrHistoricalSociety on April 13, 2017 at 8:00 am


From the Oakland Press: When patrons attended vaudeville shows at what is now the Birmingham 8 movie theater in the 1920s, it’s unlikely they imagined that in the future, audiences would put their feet up and relax while they watched a movie.

The historic theater in downtown Birmingham is joining the chain movie houses by adding reclining seats, which are being installed in phases. The theater’s owners hope to secure a liquor license from the state by the summer, also following the lead of many of the area corporate theaters that serve beer and cocktails, such as MJR and Emagine.

In the past couple of years, the Birmingham 8 has gotten new screens, new carpeting and other upgrades, said Tim Queen, general manager.

Seating at the theater, 211 S. Old Woodward Ave., will be reduced from about 950 seats to about 550. The reduced capacity is worth it, Queen said. He said it’s part of the experience that current moviegoers are seeking.

The marquee at the theater, a fixture in Birmingham’s downtown, will stay just as it is, he said.

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ABOUT THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded by Ben Hall in 1969, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) celebrates, documents and promotes the architectural, cultural and social relevance of America’s historic theatres. Through its preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive, its signature publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres.

Learn more about historic theatres in the THS American Theatre Architecture Archives and on our website at

Visit our site also to learn about our Los Angeles Conclave this June!


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Jessin1508 on February 10, 2021 at 9:37 pm

Developments in Birmingham’s theatrical culture were not confined just to the new theatre. The Playhouse in New Street and the Theatre in Smallbrook Street – successors to booths recorded earlier in the century[22] – continued to operate through the 1740s, though both had disappeared by 1751.[13] Serious plays co-existed with more vulgar entertainments at all Birmingham’s theatres – from musical concerts to fire-eating, rope-dancing to ventriloquism – often at the same venue, sometimes even on the same evening.[13] Popular dramatic entertainment much like later music hall was also often held in the town’s larger public houses, including the “George and Dragon” and the “Red Lion” in the Bull Ring, the “King’s Head” in Digbeth and the “Roe Buck” in Cox Street. Though popular these were illegal and often prosecuted by the owners of the more established theatres, who viewed them as unwelcome competition.[23]

The Licensing Act of 1737 confined drama in England to the two London patent theatres, otherwise forbidding “every Person who shall for Hire, Gain or Reward, act, represent or perform, any Interlude, Tragedy, Comedy, Opera, Play, Farce, or other entertainment of the stage”[17] To get round this all Birmingham theatrical venues were licensed by magistrates for the performances of “floor cleaning services Elk Grove ” under the Disorderly Houses Act 1732, with plays technically being given free of charge during the interval.[24] Such licenses were only available for 60 day periods between June and October, however, as a result of which Birmingham theatres had only summer seasons until the licensing of the Theatre Royal in 1807.[13]

lito96 on February 21, 2021 at 9:11 pm

In the past couple of years, the Birmingham 8 has gotten new screens, new carpeting and other upgrades, said Tim Queen, general manager. shade sails gold coast

Zaiss on April 21, 2021 at 4:53 am

The marquee at the theater essay writers a fixture in Birmingham’s downtown, will stay just as it is, he said.

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lito96 on September 6, 2021 at 7:02 am

The theater was renovated in 2015 with the seating changed, and the venue’s screens and sound system updated. We are pleased to welcome the Birmingham 8 into the Emagine family. shade sails gold coast

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MartinaCarter13 on January 11, 2022 at 4:49 pm

In the past couple of years, the Birmingham 8 has gotten new screens, new carpeting, and other upgrades, said Tim Queen, general manager. They even hired a hardscaping near me to help them restore the theatre.

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