Saturday, April 13, 2024
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U.Ks Oldest Working Cinema Set To Shut It’s Doors For Good

Some sad news to bring you today as another historic venue in Birmingham is due to close its doors to the general public. Birmingham and other cities seem to be a lot closer to historic venues of late, a process that has only been fast-forwarded since the pandemic. It’s a shame to see venues close, especially when they hold such historical significance and are typically replaced with residential buildings or office spaces.

It’s essential for Birmingham (and all our UK cities) to keep the history in place for future generations. Our team here at Counteract feel strongly about this. Of course, as one, we are from The Midlands, so we have a connection to the area, and secondly, we cover events such as live music, art and cinema. It seems to be kept alive, and news like this only compounds things, especially after budget cuts were announced by the council to Arts organisations, with all funding being pulled by 2026.

Still Fighting

The people of Birmingham aren’t going down without a fight, though (you’ve got to love that Brummy spirit), and a petition has been raised to preserve the historic Electric Cinema in Birmingham amid increasing frustration over its abrupt closure. The news of the shutdown of the country’s oldest operating cinema began circulating on Thursday, triggering shockwaves throughout the city. Anonymous sources had raised the alarm about the future of the 115-year-old cinema since the start of the month.

The 115-year-old Art Deco structure on Old Station Street near the Old Rep Theatre and The Crown pub (where Black Sabbath had their inaugural performance) has sparked concerns. Unconfirmed speculations suggest a developer aims to demolish the street to construct a 50-floor residential tower block.

In an interview with Birmingham Live, Mr John states, “Birmingham has been down this path. Destroying historic and beautiful architecture of national cultural significance only to regret it shortly after. Do not repeat the mistakes of the past. Birmingham needs apartments, but there is a vast supply of land in Birmingham now suitable than this.”

“A city with no culture or history is just a block of flats and a train station taking people elsewhere in the long run. Birmingham calls on its leaders to stop the destruction of Old Station Street now before it is too late.”

Public Response

Public members are contacting local politicians, including Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, expressing their desire to contribute to preserving The Electric. Speculations are circulating that the cinema, along with other structures in the vicinity, might be demolished to make room for residential flats.

Despite no official plans submitted to Birmingham City Council at this time, such a redevelopment proposal is anticipated to face strong opposition from numerous residents who find the idea unfavourable.

We here at Counteract hope that something can be done to revive this historic place. As we stated earlier, holding onto the things in our city that make it unique and wonderful is essential. Here’s hoping for some good news soon. Look after yourselves.