ABC New Street

88 New Street,
Birmingham, B2 4HS

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Showing 1 - 25 of 40 comments

rivest266 on July 16, 2022 at 9:11 am

Grand opening ad posted.

jimcleary on April 10, 2016 at 9:12 pm

Yes Dennis, my dad was Irish. He was in his 30’s when he worked at the Forum. He left to work at Aston University in the visual aids department where he stayed until his death in 1971. He worked in a few cinemas in his time. I too remember the Becon cinema on Scott Arms. I loved going there, it was beautiful, a crime to knock it down.

Dennis Thomas
Dennis Thomas on March 27, 2016 at 8:33 am

Hello Jimcleary Sorry I only just saw your post,yes I remember your dad,a Irish chap?,I can still see him in my mind after all the time. He did indeed leave in late 64 early 65,and I think he was the 3rd projectionist then?. I did meet my wife there,we were married for 24 years had two kids,but sadly are no longer together. I started in late November 64 as a 15 year old so just had time to get to know your dad a little. I am a pensioner now. :) :(

Alexander_Simmons on January 9, 2016 at 7:35 am

Thank you Mike. I anybody knows about the photos that would be great. Part of the cinemas history. .uk THANKS!

Mike_Blakemore on January 8, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Very Vaguely after all these years .. After all I had to cope with being in the office with Joan Cooks as well :o) I have a feeling we have met.. Jonny Simmons was a Top class manager and had style of the old school

Alexander_Simmons on January 8, 2016 at 9:10 am

Alex Simmons Mike Blakemore do you remember in the office you shared with Jonny Simmons the photos of the film stars?

jimcleary on November 7, 2015 at 7:32 pm

Hi Dennis. My mom was an usherette but I don’t know if my dad was a 2nd or 3rd projectionist. Dad left the Forum around the time you started in 1964. Mom left 1n 1960, she remembers them as happy times. I read, on previous comments of yours, that you met your wife at the Forum.

Dennis Thomas
Dennis Thomas on November 2, 2015 at 8:27 am

Hello Jim, Chief of course refers to chief projectionist,there was 2nd and 3rd projectionist as well. I wonder what jobs did your parents do there?,I worked there from the end of 64 to the late 69 as a projectionist. George the ‘chief’ retired while I was there.

jimcleary on November 1, 2015 at 8:30 pm

My parent’s, Jim Cleary and Rose Wareing, met while working at the Forum in the late 1950’s. They knew George Mottram who mom tells me they called Chief. They also knew Larry French and mom recalls a man named Ray Malin. Mr Simmons was the manager. She remembers the cinema showing Carry On Constable and The Journey. She was there when they had the first booking picture for 3 months which was Gigi. She was happy there and remembers Chief with affection. I met George’s grandson, Carla’s brother, in the 1970’s and remember talking about his grandpa and my parents working together.

YogaPrincess on August 10, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Hi all! I am the Grand Daughter of Lilian Iles who worked at the Forum as an Usherette 1951 or 1952 for about 8 months, who also served ice creams if they were short staffed. She worked at new street once too but fell asleep!She recalls a girl she worked with, she thinks her name was Ann

Dennis Thomas
Dennis Thomas on May 3, 2015 at 9:10 am

To ‘harryrig’ thank you for the projection box picture,very interesting,certainly had changed since I last worked there in 1969. Looks like they moved to a tower system before it closed then?.

Dennis Thomas
Dennis Thomas on January 23, 2013 at 4:35 am

OK Carla,sorry about the gender slip up :)yes it was all a long time ago now,but there are still people around who worked with George,so he is still remembered outside his family. It was nice to make contact with you here,take care.

carlamottram on January 22, 2013 at 9:28 am

By the way, thank you for the lovely comments
About George, also we lived by the barr beacon
Cinema, I remember it well, wonderful building

carlamottram on January 22, 2013 at 9:25 am

Afternoon, so lovely to hear from people that worked with George I just want to note that my name is Carla, not Carl, I’m Georges Grandaughter, sorry, its an easy mistake from my User name, ok, I spoke to my mom again, no one else to ask Sad isn’t it, when links to the past have gone George would have started 1930,s possibly Or…. Definately 1940,s.

Would be great to see that photo!

Take care all, speak soon

petehall on January 21, 2013 at 5:56 am

im looking for info abt john constable who worked with me at the villa x and the abc new street birmingham circa late 60s …i also worked at the beacon cinema scott arms now its just a block of flats..such a shame these beautiful cinemas were knocked down …

Dennis Thomas
Dennis Thomas on January 21, 2013 at 5:51 am

Hi Carl, Great to hear from you,I remember your grandpa George. I started at the cinema as a fifteen year old,and George,the chief projectionist seemed so old to me then,now I am that sort of age myself :(.

George was a great guy,I got on well with him,he retired,while I was there,and Larry took over as chief.

As for Larry being a good looking man?,well he never did anything for me:), but he was also a decent man to work with. Do you know when George started at the Forum?,don’t think I ever had the nerve to ask him.

Its great that you found this site,so pleased to hear from you.

petehall on January 21, 2013 at 5:45 am

hi guys i worked at the abc back in 1969 with larry and the two johns and dennis b4 that i worked 2 years at the villa cross handsworth ..they were golden days

  pete hall
Mike_Blakemore on January 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Hi Carl.. I have a group picture of Projectionists when they won best box Containing I think George Mottram, Larry Freeman.. Dennis Thomas.. and John Constable when I find it. I have put it somewhere safe.. When I find it I shall put it on.. I met George when he visited Theatre after retirement around late 1974, While I was Assistant Manager to Jonny Simmons

carlamottram on January 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Wow, stumbled across this by accident, fabulous reading, My grandpa was George Mottram! Bless him, Been looking for anything on the internet connected With the cinema, found this to my delight Just spoke to my mom, an she remembers Larry, said he Was a good looking man, Noel as we knew him, This was his first name, sadly died in October 1976 To this day I miss him terribly. I am 48 now, and Often brag that my grandad was a projectionist I Will keep my eye on the forum.

So pleased I have found this.

Dennis Thomas
Dennis Thomas on December 15, 2012 at 11:10 am

OK Colin,
Thanks for that,I knew of couse that there ‘was’ an organ there,and note above that it was only removed in 1955,but had no idea that it had been used relatively recently,when I was there.

I wish you well trying to contact others that worked at the Forum around the time you were there,one never knows who may pop up on here.

I have,thanks to this site and Facebook, been able to re-establish contact with three guys ‘projectionists'that I worked with,over forty years ago. One of them I talk to on Skype a couple of times a week now.

colinsmith on December 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Hi Dennis. there really was an organist at the forum in 1950. generally he would play for a while before the show started. i recall that the odeon down the street also had an organist. i believe his name was charles, and i forget his last name.

Dennis Thomas
Dennis Thomas on December 13, 2012 at 6:11 am

Hi Colin The early 1950s were a bit ‘too’ early for me :) I started there late 64 to late 69,and was a trainee projectionist. I also met my future wife there I remember George Mottram,as chief,and also Larry French,Larry took over as chief during my time there,when George retired..

One thing that puzzles me though Colin, an organist in 1950 really? I thought that was a silent cinema era thing?. Dennis Thomas

colinsmith on December 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm

are there any old timers who remember the forum from the early 1950’s. i started there as a trainee projectionist in 1950 and met my future wife there. the chief projectionist was george mkottram andn the second in command was larry french. names i remember are donald keogh and roger grey. i believe the managers name was morgan, and there was an organist named joseph flitcroft.

Robbie25646 on September 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm

How True Mike! I also worked at the Carlton Cinema, in the Haymarket, London where my dressing room was back-stage it seemed miles from our office over the foyer to get changed like you every night by 6:00pm

Mike_Blakemore on September 7, 2012 at 10:26 am

I used to go up to the Balcony twice a day and go down the right hand Exit (On Picture) to my dressing room to change into (by 6pm) and out of my dinner suit (at close of the final performace) If I was quick enough I could sneek ot the bottom door. other wise I had to come back through the Balcony and down the main staircase The hight and rake was hair raising.. But not as Bad as the Old Theatre Royal next door… That was that high it had angels flying around :o) (That was before it was knocked down)