The Sheldon opened on October 10th 1937 with a single-screen capacity of 1500. Early promotional material featured the slogan, ‘It’s well done – at the Sheldon‘, and audiences were drawn in by ice creams from Midlands Counties Dairy, advanced heating and cooling systems, and Western Electric’s novel Mirrophonic Sound System (introduced only two years previously).
In February 1976, the owners of the Sheldon submitted a planning application to build a new cinema, a store, and a hotel on the site. However, despite strong local opposition, the cinema was closed on the 26th November 1977 to make way for a new supermarket. Its final screening was Orca (1977).
Clive Povey, the cinema’s former projectionist, repurposed 15 of its balcony seats in his own £2000 home cinema, which he used to show news clips and feature films to friends and family. In November 1981, the home cinema caught fire – but fortunately sustained minimal damage.
The site has been owned by several supermarket chains, but is currently a Tesco Superstore.
Coventry Road, Sheldon, B26 3DY
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ATV reporter John Swallow visited Sheldon projectionist Clive Povey at his home to check out his home cinema. Watch here.
“New cinema at Sheldon has now risen to take its place among the imposing galaxy of Birmingham and district.”