Page last updated at 21:47 GMT, Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Electric cinema celebrates its centenary

The Electric Cinema
Footage has been found of King George VI's coronation

A cinema in Birmingham celebrating its centenary is to show newsreels found when it was renovated.

The Electric Cinema showed its first silent movie on 27 December 1909 and is believed to be the oldest working cinema in the UK.

It was built in a converted taxi rank in Station Street and operated as a cinema until 1931 when it became an amusement arcade for a short period.

It showed adult movies in the 70s and now shows a wide variety of films.

Six years ago it was a crumbling shell of a building, with a leaking roof and a basement filled with junk.

It was restored by the present owner Tom Lawes who said more than 300 old film reels had been found in the roof of the cinema, which included footage of King George VI's coronation and other archived news footage of the day.

A special screening is due to be held of some of the archived material on 21 December with interviews from former staff and customers, accompanied by the music of Steve Tovey, the UK's last full-time cinema organist.


'Oldest' cinema marks 100 years

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