Harborne Picture House

3 Serpentine Road,
Birmingham, B17 9RD

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Gaumont-British-Picture Corp., Ltd.

Architects: Archibald Hurley Robinson

Functions: Community Center

Styles: Neo-Classical

Nearby Theaters

Harborne Picture House

Located in the southwest Birmingham district of Harborne. The Picture House was opened on 18th August 1913. It became part of the Shapeero circuit, and was taken over by Denman/Gaumont British Theatres in March 1928.

It was closed by Circuits Management Association(CMA) on 13th April 1957 with John Mills in “Town on Trial” and “Reprisal”. The cinema was converted into the Harborne Village Social Club.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

handlebar on February 7, 2015 at 3:41 pm

A great little cinema. Spent my childhood there. In the 40’s the curtains were opened by a member of staff turning a handle. No balcony. No proscemium arch. Curtains hung from a ceiling track.Doors either side made a ‘scope screen impossible so they installed a larger 4x3 with descending masking which left a letterbox picture at the bottom. Scope pictures were smaller than normal ones! Emergency gas lamps hissed on either side walls. Bright clear pictures and sound. Go through the front doors and up two steps and you’d be faced by the small pay box. You could enter the cinema from doors either side of the pay box and curtains across the back stopped light from the street as you entered. Always two films, news, adverts and trailers. I expected a three hour programme for 9d (about 4p) The Saturday kids club started at 10a.m. and cost 6d (2 1/2p) First there’d be a sing song with words on the screen (Underneath the spreading Chestnut tree/Hands, knees and bumps a daisy etc) then the club song ('We come along on Saturday morning greeting everybody with a smile’ sung on a record by radio star Tommy Handley), then cartoons, serial and feature film.The place was packed and the atmosphere fantastic. Films ran Mon to Wed, Thursday to Sat and old or abridged
stuff on Sunday only. The better pictures ran for six days. Queues would form down the road and if we couldn’t get in we’d walk down to The Royalty. It was a wonderful time that has passed into memory. I’m so glad I was able to experience it.

PaulB52 on April 17, 2015 at 8:42 am

April 2015 photographs here … www.flickr.com/photos/28808395@N03/16928222429/

or flickr les veuves ‘Birmingham Cinemas’

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