The Grange Picture Theatre, Small Heath Picture Palace
Opened on 7 December 1912 as the Small Heath Picture Palace with a capacity of 575, described in an advert in The Picturegoer the following year as ‘the resort of the élite in Small Heath.’ By 1917 the owners, Birmingham & District Picture Palaces Ltd, had gone into receivership and the cinema was taken on by local construction firm Bryants and renamed the Grange Picture Theatre. They obtained permission for structural alterations, closing in August 1921 for four months to almost completely rebuild the venue to a design by local architect Abel Round.
It reopened on Boxing Day 1921 with an increased capacity of 1300 and a five-piece orchestra led by Jan Berenska, the venue now dominating the junction of Coventry and Grange Road. It was the first of six cinemas owned by Bryants – others included the Coronet, the Kingston and the Sheldon, all just up the road – and it was also the first to close in 1959. It was later demolished and Sonali Bank now stands on the site.
(With thanks to John Smith, whose book Bryant Family History was a helpful source for this page.)
380 Coventry Road, B10 0UF
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