Cannon Bristol Road

5 Bristol Road,
Birmingham, B5 7TT

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd., Cannon Cinemas

Architects: C. 'Jack' Foster, Alan Morgan, Archibald Hurley Robinson

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Bristol Cinema, ABC Bristol Road, ABC Cinerama, ABC 1-2-3

Nearby Theaters

ABC Bristol Road

Located in the Edgbaston district, just a short distance from Birmingham city centre. Quite a large cinema with very modern frontage and grand foyer, the Bristol Cinema opened on 16th May 1937 with Jane Wyatt in “Luckiest Girl in the World” and Richard Tauber in “Land Without Music”. It was owned by the Victoria Playhouse Group. Seating was provided in stalls and circle and the overal decorative scheme was a nautical Art Moderne style which had decorative plaster galleons of the Bristol sailing ship on each side of the proscenium, and it was initially these which gave the cinema its name, not the road it was located on. It was taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) from 1st January 1944 and was re-named ABC from August 1959. Closed on 4th May 1963 for conversion into a 3-strip Cinerama theatre to the plans of architect C. ‘Jack’ Foster, assisted by Alan Morgan. It re-opened on 14th September 1963 presenting “How the West Was Won”.

It was divided into a triple-screen operation on September 26, 1972 with seating provided for 482, 353 and 175. In 1986 it was taken over by the Cannon Group and re-named Cannon. It was closed on 24th September 1987, and the building was sold for re-development, demolished later in 1987. The site of the cinema now contains a drive-through MacDonald’s restaurant.

Contributed by DEREK.L.HUNT

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

Mike_Blakemore on December 9, 2013 at 10:23 am

@ Steve Sidway.. It was Jim Hunt… A Boring Exterior ?? It was designed by Hurley Robinson Still tastes differ. The Cinerama Interior was plain but that was the modern solution at the time.. Hmm the “Lyttleton Cinema” used a lot of bricks from The demolished Theatre in Walsall. Our family had an interest in..

Terry White
Terry White on July 29, 2016 at 8:24 am

Hi Mike & Steve Yes it would be Jim Hunt. I remember him well as he gave me my first Chief’s position at the Majestic Bridgnorth in 1967.

He also arranged for me to transfer from the Bristol to the new ABC Hanley in late 1965.

I have fond memories of both the Bristol and ABC even after some forty years plus have elapsed.

Projection staff I can recall were : Dave Brinkworth Chief. Dave Thom Co-Chief. There were two other guys, both seconds I think, Brian and Geoff . Sorry but can’t recall surnames.

DavidRayner1947 on August 7, 2016 at 1:18 pm

Here it is on an ABC News item in October, 1948, showing The Winslow Boy, with some of the stars of the film in attendance, including Margaret Leighton and Neil North. It was then known as the ABC BRISTOL, Birmingham.

DavidRayner1947 on August 7, 2016 at 11:48 pm

If you can’t click on the above link, copy and paste it into your browser.

Alan Baker
Alan Baker on March 17, 2018 at 10:21 am

The ABC Bristol Road played three strip Cinerama from September 14th 1963 to January 9th 1965. It was then converted to 70mm single lens Cinerama. The Three strip presentations were:– How the West Was Won, 27 weeks. Seven Wonders of the World, 8 weeks. South Seas Adventure, 4 weeks. The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, 16 weeks. Windjammer, 7 weeks. Search For Paradise, 3 weeks. This is Cinerama, 3 weeks and finally The Best of Cinerama, 4 weeks.

amg2000 on December 29, 2018 at 6:01 am

I’m pretty sure this is where I saw “Quadrophenia” in autumn of 1979.

Mike_Blakemore on June 21, 2019 at 4:34 pm

dallasmovietheatres Correct C. Jack Foster was the Head of the ABC in House Architects Department Prior he was PCT’s Architect Jack Foster was assisted by Alan Morgan Modernisation Ltd., was the contractor

Mike_Blakemore on June 21, 2019 at 4:36 pm

The Cinemas was Built for the Victoria Playhouse company and later they sold to ABC

rivest266 on March 1, 2022 at 12:12 pm

3 screens on September 26th, 1972. Ad posted.

rivest266 on August 2, 2022 at 9:33 am

Grand opening ad posted

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