Odeon Queensway

Odeon Queensway

The Scala Superama, Cinecenta, Odeon Ringway, Star Cinemas (the Cinecenta)

The Scala Superama opened in November 1964 with James Aubrey in Lord of the Flies & Kenneth More in The Comedy Man. The following year the Compton group also opened the Cinecenta next door which would show X-rated screenings.

The Superama was then taken over by the Rank Organisation on the 22 February 1970. The cinema was rebranded as the Odeon Ringway, followed by another rebranding to the Odeon Queensway in 1972.

In 1983 the Cinecenta was also taken over by the Rank Organisation and incorporated into the Queensway along with a refurbishment.

The cinema closed on 18 September 1988. The seats were removed to be used at the Odeon New Street which was being split into multiple screens, and the Queensway auditorium still sits unused in the bowels of Scala House.

Odeon Ringway Programme 1971

30 Holloway Circus, Queensway, Birmingham, B1 1EQ

The Scala Superama is yet another expression of the faith that commercial organisations in the entertainment field have in the City of Birmingham. It is indeed rare for a new cinema to be erected in this country nowadays and so this is a very important event. This new addition to our entertainment facilities is situated very near to where its predecessor stood.

The Ringway is a new highway which is surrounded by wonderful buildings and is complemented by this new and fine addition. I am sure that the new Scala will succeed in providing the citizens of the West Midlands with hours of enjoyment and relaxation.”

“It was beautifully designed in terms of sound and 70mm projection and we were a cinema business where it was all about the films.”

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We had a look around the derelict Odeon Queensway in early 2022.

We’d love to hear about your film-going experiences in Birmingham. From memories of amazing screenings or communal experiences, to grand days out at the pictures or more personal recollections. How has visiting the cinema shaped your life, and your experience of our city?

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I often visited Odeon Queensway as a callow youth in the late 70s. I left school at 16 and was unemployed for a time, receiving around £12 a week dole money – my father (to toughen me up, he said) would take £10 off me for my keep. But the remainder was still just enough for me to get the bus into town and entry to whatever was showing that week, giving me a temporary escape from the morale-sapping tedium of unemployment.

During weekdays I had the pleasure of selecting best seating in the vast auditorium. Later, presumably after I left unemployment behind, I particularly recollect sitting there amongst a packed audience watching “Escape to Victory” and joining in spontaneous cheers and applause when the POW team scored against the Germans.

Last edited 11 months ago by Rachael Yardley

Saw Superman II here, shame it’s gone as it was quite an unusual cinema as it was kind of hidden.

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