The Warwick

The Warwick

The Warwick Cinema, owned by the building company Smith & Booth, opened in 1929 as a stadium type of silent cinema seating approximately 1500 people. The opening film was Noel Wimperis and the Warwick Orchestra played musical accompaniment.

The interior of the cinema was painted as though the audience were seated in the Warwickshire countryside – the vaulted ceiling even had a brenograph that projected the sun and stars to complete the illusion. The foyer and public waiting areas sported ornate fireplaces, leather armchairs, settees and suits of armour to give you the feeling that you were entering a castle.

Sound films came along soon after the Warwick opened and it was hurriedly converted to sound despite not having the necessary walls made with special acoustic materials.

When the number of cinema goers started to drop off in the 1950’s it was sold by the owners and turned into a bowling alley with an intimate 462 seat cinema which carried on in business until 1992 when it was turned into a Lazerquest arcade.

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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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