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Report - Royalty Cinema, Harborne, Birmingham - July 2014

Discussion in 'Theatres and Cinemas' started by Adam X, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. Adam X

    Adam X It's a derpy job...
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    Howdy all, well it's been bloody yonks since I posted a report here, so thought I'd quickly bung this one up from July…

    History
    The Royalty Cinema was built in the Art Deco style for local independent company Selly Oak Pictures Limited, and opened on 20th October 1930. Built during the early years of cinema exhibition with sound, the Cinematograph Act of 1927 had attempted to support British filmmaking in the face of the aggressive influence of Hollywood. Musicals and epics became increasingly popular in the 1920s, and evermore opulent and grand theatres were constructed for their exhibition. The Royalty is considered to be one of the finest examples of the work of renowned Birmingham theatre architect Horace G Bradley, and could accommodate almost 1,500 patrons.

    The cinema was acquired by the Associated British Cinemas (ABC) chain in March 1935. ABC closed the cinema on 2nd November 1963. It was subsequently converted into a bingo hall, operating first as Gala Bingo and most recently as a Mecca Bingo Club.

    The Royalty Cinema was designated a Grade II listed building, both internally and externally, by English Heritage in the summer of 2011, and closed later that year.

    In 2012 police raided the cinema and discovered that the attic was being used as a cannabis factory. 40 plants were found, together with 10-15 kilos of dried cannabis leaves.

    The cinema remains empty and unoccupied, and is currently for sale for in the region of £1.5m.


    Our Explore
    I had wanted to see The Royalty for quite some time, so was glad to finally get around to seeing it. After a somewhat interesting entry (those who have been will know what I’m talking about) we spent an enjoyable couple of hours mooching around and taking in the grand auditorium, side corridors and ante-rooms, the infamous former drugs factory in the attic (where the ductwork still remains), and enjoyed some of the early morning sun on our faces up on the roof.

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    Thanks for looking.

    Full report, with a few more photos, on my blog here.

    Cheers
    Adam X
     

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  2. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Beautiful mate. Art Deco at its best.
     
  3. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Lovely place and pics mate.
     
  4. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Some stunning photographs there mate. They were well worth a look.
     
  5. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    Nice one mate, looks like a really nice explore. Enjoyed your pics. :thumb
     
  6. PopPunkJamie

    PopPunkJamie Irregular User
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    Best photos I've seen of this place. Still get a bit wet on the way in?
     
  7. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
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    very nice selection of photos mate,and it looks like no work atal has been done with the inside
     
  8. Adam X

    Adam X It's a derpy job...
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    Thanks folks. :)

    Nope, it was touch and go for a moment but dry as a bone.
     
  9. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Wicked mate, the only way was wet or pay the wankers at the car wash when I went, cheeky beggars that lot :rolleyes: Gonna have to return with a different strategy after seeing these pics again :thumb
     
  10. Boomstick84

    Boomstick84 28DL Regular User
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    Top stuff, looks an amazing place and your shots really are stunning :thumb
     
  11. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Awesome, great pics as always :thumb Nice report mate :)

    Thanks for postin' :D
     
  12. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    Nicely captured :thumb

    I like this one

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  13. UrbanDuck

    UrbanDuck Authorised Trespasser
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    Great photography and interesting shots, well done :thumb
     
  14. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
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    This shot thou. :thumb

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  15. TranKmasT

    TranKmasT We're Earth explorers
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    Superb pictures.
    You know looking at this place again really makes me think that this place ought to be saved. Harborne is probably one of the richest/trendiest areas of brum.If I had some dollar tucked away I'd probably make a bid.
     
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