The Kingsway

The Kingsway

Essoldo Kings Heath

Built during the silent era to cater to the fast-growing suburb of Kings Heath, the Kingsway was designed by prolific Birmingham cinema architect Horace G Bradley. It became part of the Essoldo circuit in the late 70s, and then despite a local campaign to keep the doors open it screened its last film in 1980.

Three decades as a bingo hall followed, and then after a period of closure the building was badly damaged by fire in 2011. Now only the frontage survives, and the land out the back has become a craft market and music venue.

During the summer of 2020 it was one of the few places to screen films in Birmingham.

73 Kings Heath High St, Birmingham B14 7BH

Get your own mini Kingsway, created by Spaceplay. Visit the shop.

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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Only the frontage survives after a fire.

In the 1960s you could watch two James Bond films here in King’s Heath on a Saturday afternoon for just one ticket. Dr No and From Russia with Love, then Goldfinger and Thunderball. The Guns of Navarone was however, too long for such doubling-up. Darlaston’s Newsagency next door sold all sorts of magazines which were of interest to a schoolboy. Instead, if you ventured into town, you could watch cartoons endlessly in the News Theatre on Stephenson Street, next to New Street Station. For Our Man Flint, you needed the Hippodrome on Hurst Street, and for The Man from U.N.C.L.E the ABC, Stirchley on Pershore Road. By then, The Tudor on Haunch Lane, had already closed. The Robin Hood in Hall Green screened My Fair Lady, with a very young Sherlock Holmes as Freddy Eynsford-Hill (“marry Freddy!”). The Sound of Music was on at The Gaumont, St Chad’s Circus, which was demolished as soon as that finished. A similar fate befell the ABC on the Bristol Road which had showed the film Grand Prix.

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