The Electric

Latest News

Another Fine Gala

11th January 2019
Another Fine Gala

 Thanks to everyone who came to our fantastic Stan and Ollie Gala night on Friday. Special mention to Laurel and Hardy who made their first visit to Birmingham sinc... read more

Electric Cinema greetings cards & vouchers now available.

1st November 2018
Electric Cinema greetings cards & vouchers now available.

Christmas is just around the corner and we now have a number of specially illustrated greetings cards available from local artist Milan Topalovic.

Choose between a... read more

Ben Wheatley returns with Colin Burstead

22nd October 2018
Ben Wheatley returns with Colin Burstead

Last time we had writer-director Ben Wheatley joins us, he did us the honour of unveiling our civic society plaque naming us 'The UK's Oldest Working Cinema'.

O... read more

History 1932-1962

Tatler 1937In 1931 Joseph Cohen bought The Select and for a few months showed rep films, before closing the cinema in 1932 with a view to a complete refit. His plan was to obtain the uppers floors, then create a balcony and changing rooms for the staff.

After a period of closure, (when it was rumoured that it was used as an amusement arcade!) work commenced on the upper floors of the cinema in 1936. A year later, the cinema reopened as Birmingham's second news theatre, The Tatler. The cinema showed rolling news reels from Pathe and British Movietone, along with short films and cartoons.

Cohen was a highly successful Birmingham businessman and owed 50 cinemas at the height of the Jacey Cinema chain. Along with being friends with Walt Disney, he also knew Oscar Deutsch, the Birmingham entrepreneur behind the Odeon chain, the first of which was built in Perry Barr in 1933.

The cinema was unusual, as it shot and edited its own regional news, some of which still remains today. 

News and cartoons were shown until the late 1960s when the advent of TV removed the need for current affairs programming in cinemas

Click here for 1962-1979