The Royalty Cinema was designed by Birmingham architect Horace G Bradley, with Kingsway completed in 1925 and the Royalty opened in 1929 during the first great wave of cinema building with Maurice Chevalier in “The Love Parade”. It was built for and operated by the local independent Selly Oak Pictures Ltd. It would have been packed with audiences eager to see the latest silent, black and white features of the day featuring the likes of Rudolph Valentino and Charlie Chaplin.
The Cinema was taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain in March 1935. ABC closed the cinema on 2nd November 1963 with Cliff Robertson in “P.T.109”. It was converted into a Mecca Bingo Club, and in 2010 it operated as a Gala Bingo Club.
The 1920s-built cinema was described as ‘stunning’ and worthy of a legal preservation order by the city council’s Conservation and Heritage Panel as it boasts a ‘high-quality Art Deco interior’ according to experts.
In the summer of 2011, the Royalty Cinema was designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage.
The Grade II building’s future is unsure as it has been set ablaze three times since November 2017, and now is partially collapsed. The Cinema has also been used as a cannabis farm until the police closed it down.
Old Image Credits – “A world in ruins”