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Great architecture shared with community

Architecture and Us is all about sharing and promoting great architecture and providing a shared digital space where people can make a difference and have a positive social impact.

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History & heritage
22 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

The Electric Cinema: A Brumtography photo meet (January 2020)

The Brumtography Facebook group had a photo meet on the 20th January 2020 at The Electric Cinema on Station Street (opposite Birmingham New Street Station). We were there for over an hour or so. Exploring screens 1 and 2, the remains of the old curtain of the Tatler News Theatre, old reels of film in the basement and the old projection room. Plenty to see in this small cinema. Opened 1909.

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The Electric Cinema: A Brumtography photo meet (January 2020)





The Brumtography Facebook group had a photo meet on the 20th January 2020 at The Electric Cinema on Station Street (opposite Birmingham New Street Station). We were there for over an hour or so. Exploring screens 1 and 2, the remains of the old curtain of the Tatler News Theatre, old reels of film in the basement and the old projection room. Plenty to see in this small cinema. Opened 1909.


On Monday 20th January 2020, about 10 members of the Brumtography Facebook group met at The Electric for a photo meet organised by Karl Newton (who contacted them and got permission from them). We did initially meet in the foyer thinking that a member of staff would take us around, but in the end, they let us go around on our own. Although Karl had been before so knew his way around.

The Electric Cinema

Some history. The Electric opened in 1909, and showed it's first silent film that year on the 27th December 1909. It is the oldest working cinema in the UK, predating it's namesake in Notting Hill, London (also called the Electric Cinema), by two months. Over the last century or so, the cinema has undergone several name changes, but reverted back t The Electric in October 1993.

In the 1920s the cinema was bought out and became known as The Select, showing silent movies. In the 1930s Joseph Cohen bought the cinema, and by the late 1930s it was renamed to the Tatler News Theatre, where they showed Pathe rolling news, along with short films and cartoons. Jacey Cinemas Ltd was the name of Joseph Cohen's company after his initials JC. 

Afte the War, TV started to become popular, and in the 1950s it's name was changed to The Jacey Cartoon Theatre. By the 1960s it was renamed to The Jacey Film Theatre. By the 1970s the cinema was in decline, showing adult films. In the 1980s it was taken over by Lord Grade's "Classic" chain and split into two screens. By the mid 1980s it was now known as the Tivoli.

It was only by 1993 when the new owners renamed it back to it's original name of The Electric. Restoration took place between 2003 and 2004. It's original Art Deco features were restored. The Electric celebrated it's Centenary in 2009. And received a history plate from the Birmingham Civic Society in 2016.


So a reminder of the cinemas names: The Electric Theatre, The Select, The Tatler News Theatre, The Jacey, The Classic and The Tivoli. Before reverting back to The Electric Cinema.

 

This view of The Electric, from near the taxi rank at Birmingham New Street Station. There is a glass balcony railing, and I headed right and down the Southside Steps.

The Box Office. Buy your tickets here. There is also a bar to the left where you can buy drinks and food, no popcorn here.

Screen 1 is downstairs. With red seats at the front, and black leather sofas at the back. Is a piano / organ on the stage.

Behind screen 1 is the remains of the Tatler News Theatre of the 1930s and 1940s. The old screen used to be here. You can see the old curtains and various old posters. Including a poster for Xmas cartoons. Probably classic Disney cartoons.

Back in screen 1 from the stage.

Down to the basement, where they have a large collection of old film reels. Probably dating back decades.

Ticket prices back in the day were quite cheap compared to today.  Some smaller films on these shelves.

Into the old projection room, first thing I saw was BB8 from the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, and a trophy.

The old projector. To the right is the modern additions of the newer digital technology. So they don't need to use the old reels of film any more.

Upstairs to screen 2. A bit darker in here, even after the lights were turned on.

This screen has black leather sofas at the top and bottom.

Outside screen 2 is a gallery of art, which is apparently for sale. Some of the prints were done by Milan Topalović, who you may recall also did art for The Big Hoot (at Birmingham New Street Station in 2015) and The Big Sleuth (at Resorts World Birmingham in 2017).

Back outside after the end of the meet, saw a reflection of The Electric in the shiny panels of Birmingham New Street Station. At the time the sign below said UNCUT GEMS.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
19 Jan 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham, One Chamberlain Square

A nice sunny winter day for some blue sky shots of One Chamberlain Square.

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Birmingham, One Chamberlain Square





A nice sunny winter day for some blue sky shots of One Chamberlain Square.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
17 Jan 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham, One Chamberlain Square - January 2020

With PwC's One Chamberlain Square complete and the staff having moved in it is time to say bye to this particular build on our construction feature, but it will be moved to the Modern Architecture feature from now on. Here are some recent photos of this fantastic addition to the city.

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Birmingham, One Chamberlain Square - January 2020





With PwC's One Chamberlain Square complete and the staff having moved in it is time to say bye to this particular build on our construction feature, but it will be moved to the Modern Architecture feature from now on. Here are some recent photos of this fantastic addition to the city.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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100 passion points
History & heritage
16 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Eagle & Tun: HS2 calls it time to sadly knock this historic pub down

The Eagle & Tun in the current building has been on the corner site of New Canal Street and Banbury Street for 120 years. Built to a design from James & Lister Lea in 1900. In 2020 the current licence comes to an end, as HS2 wants to knock this historic pub down to make way for the proposed station. Had a few hours there with the Brumtography Facebook group created by Karl Newton.

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The Eagle & Tun: HS2 calls it time to sadly knock this historic pub down





The Eagle & Tun in the current building has been on the corner site of New Canal Street and Banbury Street for 120 years. Built to a design from James & Lister Lea in 1900. In 2020 the current licence comes to an end, as HS2 wants to knock this historic pub down to make way for the proposed station. Had a few hours there with the Brumtography Facebook group created by Karl Newton.


Out of the blue, Birmingham We Are person with passion Karl Newton, over on Facebook set up a new group called Brumtography. And he invited members to go to The Eagle & Tun on Saturday 11th January 2020 from about 3pm to 6pm. I got there by 2:30pm, and we left by 5:30pm. We had plenty of time to take photos of the inside of this historic pub.

The pub was designed and built in 1900 (had been another pub on this site) by James & Lister Lea. The pub was made famous in the 1980s, as UB40 shot a music video here for their single Red Red Wine.  It was also used as the cover of the UB40 Best Of album. More recently Ed Sheeran popped by the pub.

It was closed and boarded up from about 2008 until the new landlords bought and reopened it in 2016. A nice Indian couple and their son.

 

I met up with Karl around here. Lots of old looking tables and chairs. Bar to the left. Window on the right was smashed and had a wooden board covering the damage.

Near the entrance. The bar to the left. Lots of musical instruments were near the top of the walls but below the ceiling.

I wonder where they got all of these musical instruments from?

View of the bar from near where we were sitting / met up.

Into the Pool Room. The pool table, the landlord later lit up the fire.

Saw lots of old looking Roman or Greek pictures on the walls around here.

A pair of gaming machines. The tiles looked quite interesting, they could be saved and go to an interested museum?

Bottles behind the bar. Many drinks to be had here.

Beer pumps from Red Fang, 3D Beer Cisco Steam, Twisted Wheel Brew Co and Pitchfork.

Another look at the bar curving round close to the way in. Door to the back leads to the pool room.

If you left the pool room from this side, this would be the view, near the bar.

Mint Julep and Dixie Beer. Wine glasses and bottles, instruments all around.

Behind the bar. The landlord had a box of really old cameras that he needed to sell.

Another view of what was behind the bar.

Back of the beer pumps. The landlord and landlady pour your beer or lager here.

Was getting dark outside, final curtains on this historic bar. What can be saved?

After we left, we took several photos of the exterior of The Eagle & Tun, after dark. It was also raining. This from Banbury Street. HS2 have put barriers up, so the opposite pavement was closed.

They have coloured lights that change colours on the first floor. Was a lot of passing traffic on New Canal Street.

Could see passing trains go past behind the pub. It will be sad to see this 120 year old pub knocked down. Is there no way to move it brick by brick to somewhere else in the city? Don't go the way of the doomed Fox & Grapes on Park Street. Only The Woodman will remain open, and probably survive the possible building of the HS2 Birmingham terminus station at Curzon Street.

The pub sign of The Eagle & Tun is one thing that hasn't changed. Although at one point a previous landlord renamed the pub as The Cauliflower Ear! But thankfully it was later changed back.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
20 Dec 2019 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

The PwC Partners Opening of One Chamberlain Square - 19th December 2019

Daniel was delighted to attend the PwC Partners Opening and tour of the completed One Chamberlain Square where he collected his copy of the book 'One Chamberlain Square - Everything is Possible' containing his photos of the construction of this iconic addittion to the city centre. Great photos of the astounding interior in this gallery. Thanks to Matt Hammond, Chair, PwC Midlands.

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The PwC Partners Opening of One Chamberlain Square - 19th December 2019





Daniel was delighted to attend the PwC Partners Opening and tour of the completed One Chamberlain Square where he collected his copy of the book 'One Chamberlain Square - Everything is Possible' containing his photos of the construction of this iconic addittion to the city centre. Great photos of the astounding interior in this gallery. Thanks to Matt Hammond, Chair, PwC Midlands.


Wordsmith Casey Bailey recites his poem about the Midlands, now on the wall at One Chamberlain Square.

Casey Bailey, Matt Hammond and Daniel Sturley.

One of the many 'Living Walls', moss that gives out a significant amount of oxygen.

Booth for private phone calls.

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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