Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen

Gibb Street,
Birmingham, B9 4AA

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Additional Info

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 440121.224.7456

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Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen

In the Digbeth industrial district in Birmingham city centre, Alfred Bird opened a factory for the manufacture of his patented custard powder in the late-Victorian period. When production moved to Banbury in 1964 the site became derelict. In 1988 Bennie Gray acquired it, and in 1993 his son Lucan began the transformation of this huge site.

Café del Sol opened about ten years ago (circa 2007). It is situated on the ground floor of Mockingbird House, in an inner courtyard, facing a swimming pool that, I believe, Alfred Bird constructed for his workers. (The pool is disused, and I gather there are plans to fill it in.)

When the café opened, the area was dominated by a number of nightclubs, and was rather raucous. As these closed down, to be replaced by rather more sedate cafes, restaurants, shops and independent businesses, the opportunity was taken to acquire former nightclub space adjacent to the café. The initial screenings of cult favourites, on DVD, proved so popular that full cinema projection equipment was acquired, and the ‘new’ Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen opened on Friday 18th November 2016 with “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, starring Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell.

The comfortable 90-seats are one block. Refreshingly, when I visited, in March 2017 to see “John Wick”, starring Keanu Reeves, (being shown before a screening of the recent release “John Wick 2”) there were no adverts or trailers. Films are shown on a repertory basis, with three or four a day (the third that day was “Hidden Figures”, starring Taraji P. Henson and Kevin Costner) being screened shortly after release.

The staff made me very welcome, and I enjoyed the house special, a ‘Mockingburger’ for lunch before the show!

On 6th May 2022 a second screen was opened. Seating 30, this was financed by a very successful crowd-funding campaign which raised the £4,160 cost in just a few weeks.

Contributed by David Simpson
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