Odeon Queensway

30 Holloway Circus, Queensway,
Birmingham, B5

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Cinecenta, Rank Organisation

Architects: James A. Roberts

Previous Names: Scala Superama Cinema, Odeon Ringway

Nearby Theaters

Odeon Queensway

The Scala Superama Cinema was built as a replacement for the old 1914 Scala Theatre which had been closed in 1960. Contained in a new office block named Scala House, the cinema was a project of Compton Films Ltd. who distributed sex orientated foreign films and operated sex cinemas and cinema clubs in London. The Scala Superama was designed as a ‘Roadshow’ house, together with the new Superama Cinema in Derby.

The Birmingham Scala Superama Cinema opened on 23rd November 1964 with a double (X) certificate programme: James Aubrey in “Lord of the Flies” & Kenneth Moore in “The Comedy Man”. All seating was in a stadium style on a single stepped floor and it was equipped for 35mm and 70mm presentations. It was taken over by the Rank Organisation from 22nd February 1970 and re-named Odeon Ringway (due to its location close to Smallbrook Ringway).

It was re-named Odeon Queensway in June 1972 and re-furbished in 1983. It was at this time that the Cinecenta twin cinema next door was taken over by the Rank organisation and was incorporated into the Odeon Queensway.

The cinemas closed on 18th September 1988 and have remained empty and unused ever since. In September 2023 plans were announced that the buildings would be demolished and housing would be built on the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

NickyCampbell on November 16, 2007 at 6:18 am

I think so, the only entrance I could find is the glass one that goes onto the ring way (in the photo), and by the screen it’s all flooded so I can’t venture behind it..

bolex8mm on November 16, 2007 at 7:13 am

How do you get permission to “explore” the cinema? I would love to go down and have a look and maybe take some pictures.

Is the seating and screen still intact?

I went to the Cinecenta next door (I think) when it was an American themed nightclub in 1993. It looked to me like it was one of the screens or maybe the two knocked together. All I remember is walking down some stairs to it….

feckenodeon on February 22, 2008 at 5:22 pm

I seem to recall that the entrances at street level were amalgamated but that you still went down a separate staircase to the two tiny Cinecenta screens.
In the 70s and 80s this was the best cinema in Brum – it had a well proportioned auditorium and good picture and sound. We used to wait for films to move from the Gaumont where 35mm films strained to fill the giant screen.
The 1983 refurb followed a fire caused by a dropped cigarette end in the auditorium – couldn’t happen today!

smoothie on March 21, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Rare-ish photo here chasps:– http://www.pbase.com/beppuu/image/92164027

There are a number of new local history sites springing up in my home(West Midlands) area. May be able to find a few more as we go on.

masters1 on July 24, 2008 at 3:25 am

I attended the last screening at the Queensway in 1988 – they showed a very worn print of ‘Return of the Jedi’.

The cinema is briefly glimpsed in episode 4 of the 1976 BBC drama series ‘Gangsters’ (recently issued on DVD and worth a look for its Birmingham locations). The cinema is showing ‘At the Earth’s Core’ – which was suprisingly an ‘A’ certificate.

Mike_Blakemore on August 30, 2019 at 1:34 pm

The James A Roberts architects practice designed the structure of the cinema plus all of the Queensway They employed Modernisation Ltd., The John Freeze-Greene company to designed and the fitout the interiors of both cinemas

Alan Baker
Alan Baker on September 29, 2023 at 2:10 am

A report in The Guardian on Sept. 28th 2023 states that Birmingham Council have voted to demolish the whole Smallbrook Queensway development and replace it with housing.

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