Imperial Cinema

Spon Lane,
West Bromwich, B70

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Miles Jervis Cinemas

Architects: Albert Bye

Styles: Neo-Georgian

Previous Names: Imperial Picture Theatre

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Imperial Cinema

The Imperial Picture Theatre was opened on 8th April 1912. It was located on Spon Lane next to the Dartmouth Hotel. Designed by architect Albert Bye, it had a decorative façade, and was quite elaborate inside the building, which had 1,300 seats on a single level, and boxes containing seats at the rear. In 1920 it was rebuilt, again to the plans of Albert Bye, retaining only the side-walls from the original building. The new façade had white faience terra cotta tiles with panels of purple brick. Seating was provided in stalls and circle levels. It re-opened on 2nd March 1921 with a special one day programme. Around 1930 it was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system.

The Imperial Cinema was taken over by Miles Jervis Cinemas in 1963 and it was closed on 28th September 1963 with “Blood on His Lips”. It was converted into a bingo club from 24th October 1963. This operated until March 1969.

Modernisation Ltd. refurbished the building and it re-opened as a cinema on 7th April 1969 with Rex Harrison in “Doctor Doolittle”. Mile Jervis continued to operate the Imperial Cinema until 27th June 1975, when his new Kings Cinema was set to opened the following day. The final film at the Imperial Cinema was Charles Bronson in “Breakout”.

The building was purchased by the Council for road improvements and to re-develop the area, and it was demolished in 1978.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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