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View Full Version : Archived Report - Avion Cinema, Aldridge - April 2010



adders
April 14th, 2010, 00:52
Visited with Sophiethetwat. :D Many thanks for taking me over, and also showing me some of the delights of Walsall...

This place is cool. Apart from have being Bingo raped and now looking like a bad 60's acid trip I could kind of get a feel as to how the place would have seemed when it was a cinema. Icing on the cake was venturing in the projector room, only for it to be stripped of most things.


A mid-sized suburban cinema in an area of the West Midlands, near Walsall, the Avion Super Cinema looked remarkably like an original 'Odeon' but was never owned by that circuit.

Finished in cream glazed faience enlivened with green bands and a black base, there is a huge window lighting the circle foyer with entrance doors underneath the central canopy.

The auditorium is a dull brick box behind the facade. Neon lighting was much in evidence at night.

There was also a small stage and several dressing rooms. Seating was divided between the stalls and single balcony. The auditorium was decorated in shades of rose-dubarry and silver with the Art Deco style plasterwork picked out in green.

Several different colors of seating was used to create diametrical patterns when viewed from the stage.

The cinema opened on 26 September 1938 with a personal appearance by George Formby followed by his latest film "I See Ice". It then settled into an uneventful routine mainly showing films but with around six full weeks of variety shows on the stage.

No major changes were made to the design of the building and it eventually closed on December 30, 1967.

It became a bingo hall almost immediately after and continued for over 40 years.

In 2001, the faience tiles were in poor condition and were removed with the walls underneath being rendered and painted - this has considerably smartened up the facade and indicates that the Avion was scheduled to be around for some years to come. Unfortunately, due to increased Government taxes on bingo, the Gala Bingo Club was closed on 1st August 2009, and the building was put up for sale.

Also came across this, not 100% sure on its' reliability... Can't massively imagine the cinema being 1000 capacity given its' location. But I guess it is possible.


AVION SUPER CINEMA Anchor Road (BTH) Opened 1938 - Props., Avion Cinemas (Aldridge) Ltd. Architect: Roland Satchwell. 1.000 seats. Prices 6d. to 1s. 6d. Continuous from 2 p.m. daily. Films hooked at Hall. Occasional Variety. Stage, 30ft. x 15ft.; two dressing-rooms. Phone Aldridge 52312. Station, Aldridge, L.M.S. Closed 1967. Bingo since.

Here it is before it shut in 2009. The sign and display materials are all inside the bingo hall itself through from the lobby. I didn't get a photo of them as it's only a Gala sign.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3595/3316830438_897a0505c6.jpg?v=0

And now.

http://www.adampowell.org.uk/urbex/avion/1.jpg

Bingo rape.

http://www.adampowell.org.uk/urbex/avion/2.jpg

I'll get my coat...

http://www.adampowell.org.uk/urbex/avion/3.jpg

There must be some strange psychological reason why ALL Bingo halls have such outrageous colours.

http://www.adampowell.org.uk/urbex/avion/4.jpg

OH HAI!

http://www.adampowell.org.uk/urbex/avion/5.jpg

http://www.adampowell.org.uk/urbex/avion/6.jpg

http://www.adampowell.org.uk/urbex/avion/7.jpg

http://www.adampowell.org.uk/urbex/avion/8.jpg

http://www.adampowell.org.uk/urbex/avion/9.jpg

http://www.adampowell.org.uk/urbex/avion/10.jpg

http://www.adampowell.org.uk/urbex/avion/11.jpg

The suspended ceiling, well, suspended below the proper ceiling. Purple.

http://www.adampowell.org.uk/urbex/avion/12.jpg

http://www.adampowell.org.uk/urbex/avion/13.jpg

FULL HOUSE.

http://www.adampowell.org.uk/urbex/avion/cctv.jpg