The birthplace of celluloid and the Odeon circuit, Birmingham has always had a fondness for movie-going. During the 1940s the city boasted over 100 cinemas, from backstreet fleapits to glittering picture-palaces, and later it was the launchpad for South Asian cinema in the UK. As Flatpack prepares to embark on a journey exploring this unique history, the Barber Institute plays host to an afternoon of free screenings and activities allowing you to whizz through a century of cinema-going.
Ingredients will include:
— A taste of silent cinema, with hard-working pianist Paul Shallcross accompanying a selection of classic comedy shorts;
— Cultural historian Rajinder Dudrah (University of Manchester) and guests revisit the birth of the Eastern Film Society and the early impact of Bollywood in Birmingham;
— Free screenings throughout the afternoon including The Last Projectionist (dir: Tom Lawes), detailing the shape-shifting history of the Electric Cinema.
Aston Hippodrome, late 1970s – Jean Turley
Sutton Coldfield Odeon, 1936 – John Maltby