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Victoria Playhouse, Aston 1925
The Victoria Playhouse
The Victoria Playhouse on Victoria Road, Aston was opened on 16th December 1924. The cinema opened with the movie 'Cornered', a silent movie, starring Marie Prevost and Rockliffe Fellowes, which was considered a classic at the time. The building seated 1,300 cinema goers and in the 1950s charged between 1 shilling and 2 shillings and 2 pence for admission. The building was designed by H.W.W. Lovegrove, a local architect also known for designing the Holly Lane Presbyterian chapel in Erdington.
In the 1920s the majority of movies playing in cinemas around the country were silent and relied on live music to add to the mood of the scene. In the case of the Victoria Playhouse accompaniment was provided by an orchestra conducted by R. Arthur Jones formally employed at the nearby West's Picture House in Erdington.
The cinema had a relatively short life lasting only 39 years and was closed on 3rd August 1963 and demolished a short time later. The final two films shown at the Playhouse were 'Ursus in the Valley of the Lions' a dubbed Italian film starring Ed Fury, bodybuilder and physique model, in a sand and spear type epic and 'Where the River Bends' a Western starring Jimmy Stewart and Rock Hudson.
Digital Birmingham Photo Archive - 1920s
Digital Birmingham Photo Archive