Childhood dreams up in smoke as Kings Heath cinema burns
|Published: 17th September 2011 13:27|
Its final film more than thirty years ago was a documentary called 'Encounter with Disaster".
Today the former Kingsway Cinema on the Parade, Kings Heath High Street was a smouldering ruin. Locals watching the firefighters tackle the blaze reflected on childhood days when they say films there.
Former Kings Heath Infants and Camp Hill pupil Jon Chatfield, on a fleeting visit to old haunts from his new home near Bordeaux was one of many saddened by the news. Across the road the owner of BikePro said the Beatles played there once.
Although the current owners had applied for planning permission to turn the Kingsway into a restaurant and wedding venue, some locals had a dream it could be turned into a music venue - perhaps to help replace the Jug of Ale and follow the thriving development of the Hare and Hounds.
It had been the Gala Bingo Hall for 25 years (between 1982 and 2007), but most still called it the Kingsway.
Opened more than 85 years ago in 1925, the Kings Heath Kingsway was a mainstay of local entertainment for decades. It was designed by Horace G Bradley - the same architect responsible for a number of Birmingham cinemas in the neo-classical style.
Sell-out screenings would take more than 1300 people, to enjoy many of the cinema greats in the heyday of film - and the Beatles!