Best places to catch a movie in the West Midlands
The glitz and glamour of the Oscars might seem a million miles away from Birmingham (or 5,336 miles if we are going by the map), but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a taste of tinseltown on your doorstep.
As the second most populous city in the UK, it makes sense that Birmingham (and the greater West Midlands region) should have plenty of cinematic outlets for its million-plus residents. For convenience, most of us will be well aware of where our nearest branded cinema chain is. Be it Showcase, Cineworld, Odeon or Reel – the national mega-chain cinema complex is now the most familiar outlet for the public to go out and watch a movie.
But, while you might be aware of the likes of Broad Street’s Cineworld, the Showcase Cinemas of Dudley and Walsall or Quinton’s Reel cinema, you might have missed the great independent cinema venues that are right on your doorstep. To celebrate this Oscar season, In The City Magazine has a run-down on some of the best independent cinematic venues in the West Midlands.
47-49 Station St, Birmingham B5 4DY
The oldest working cinema in the UK, the Electric Cinema offers a taste of glitz and glamour fit for Hollywood.
Standard Ticket Price(s): £9.50 Adult, £6.50 Concession
Birmingham’s oldest independent cinematic institution, the Electric Cinema has offered patrons a unique and hugely enjoyable cinematic experience since its opening in 1909. Far from the corporate multiplex you might be used to, the Electric Cinema is a homely affair with two comfortable cinema screens showing a combination of new releases and classics all year round.
Renowned for its numerous themed film nights, visitors can look forward to a classic movie at a “Cinematic Time Machine” showing, or otherwise indulge a taste for awful b-movies at the “Trash Film Night”. A quaint lobby bar serves a variety of sweets and savoury snacks, but the pièce de résistance is the bar’s extensive drinks list, including themed cocktails to fit special screenings.
What’s more, if you wish to sample a taste of extra luxury, cinema-goers can purchase sofa seats, offering the comforts of home in a full cinematic environment, complete with table service!
The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen
Mockingbird House, The Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA
Birmingham’s hottest new cinematic nightlife fixture, perfect for those with a taste for fine film and cuisine.
Standard Ticket Price(s): £5.95 (Adult), £4.00 (Child), £4.95 (Senior/Student)
Formally opened as a full-time cinema in late 2016, Digbeth’s The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen has fast become a fixture of the exciting Digbeth nightlife scene. As is typical of the independent cinema experience, The Mockingbird shows a combination of hot, new releases and specially-chosen classics to offer its patrons a selection of the greatest movies ever made.
Housed in the custard factory, The Mockingbird is at the heart of the current revitalisation of Digbeth. What’s more, the establishment offers a foodie revolution of its very own with a full kitchen providing meals which can be enjoyed pre and post-film. As The Mockingbird also doubles as a bar, it offers its very own extensive drinks menu including a selection of craft ales, bottled ciders and cocktails.
This combination of fine dining and film makes The Mockingbird a perfect nightlife spot, with everything its patrons could want available on their doorstep.
Light House Cinema
The Chubb Buildings, Fryer St, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT
The Black Country’s only independent cinema and one of Wolverhampton’s best kept secrets.
Standard Ticket Price(s): £8.15 (Adult), £6.65 (Concession), £4.50 (Children/Students)
Wolverhampton’s Light House is more than just a cinematic institution. It is a beacon of media and arts in the city centre, an establishment that combines cinema screens, an on-site cafe and bar, galleries and club areas in one handy city-centre location.
Housed in the iconic Chubb Buildings, the Light House Cinema comprises of two separate screens which show movies throughout the week. The cinema is more than just an entertainment and arts venue, however. The centre is a pillar of the community, hosting regular events and meets on a weekly or monthly basis, dependent upon the event.
Not content to just show classic movies and brand new releases, the cinema also screens special “Thinema” broadcasts of live theatre shows. It’s building is also used for monthly live performances by jazz musicians (as part of a “Jazz House” feature), language cafes (where learners and speakers of languages including French, German, Japanese can meet for discussions and screenings of language-centric films) and music evenings.