Birmingham is full of many hidden gems (and actual gems if you visit the Jewellery Quarter). The second city hides plenty of things to do, and places to see. Today, we’re going to discuss one such institution - The Electric Cinema. Located just behind New Street Station, it’s nothing like the cinemas you’re used to. Here are five reasons why we think it’s awesome:
Historic. . .
Heres the thing you need to know about the Electric - it is the UK’s oldest working cinema. Nowadays, cinema complexes shoot up everywhere, but none have been here since 1909 like the Electric has. It has gone through many ups & downs, and has been through numerous name changes in it’s time (The Select, The Tatler News Theatre, The Jacey Cartoon Theatre, and The Tivoli to name a few), but has survived for 105 years.
. . . but not ancient history.
The cinema was renovated in 2004, and largely restored to it’s original style, based on pictures of the interior when it opened. But the two screens inside the cinema are anything but “old fashioned”. Not only do they operate with the latest in digital cinema technology, the seats are also fantastically comfy!
Oh the upgrades! Most modern cinemas will offer you a slightly bigger seat with extra padding for a few pounds extra. But at the Electric, your extra money can be put towards upgrading to a big leather couch! And the benefits don’t stop there - if you start feeling peckish, you can text the bar a food or drink order, and they’ll bring it to you!
This is arguably the best thing about the Electric. The giant cinema multiplexes of today are built for two things - size and relative comfort. They want you to look at the posters on the way in, watch your movie, and leave so the next crowd can be ushered in. It’s a perfectly fine business model, but it’s not exactly personable.
The Electric Cinema, on the other hand, has a distinct ability to create an “atmosphere”. It’s that X factor that you can’t quite put your finger on. It’s small size and comfortable fixtures & fittings give it a cosy, almost romantic feel. It’s an ideal choice for a date night.
The film choices
Going hand in hand with it’s unique set-up, The Electric also boasts an eclectic variety of films, theatre presentations, and other events & shows, many of which can’t be found anywhere else in the West Midlands. The corner the market on Independant movies, which often lack the budget to penetrate cinema chains on a national level.
That’s not to say they only play movies you may never of heard of - they also play to your nostalgic side. Over the Christmas period, they are showing many Christmas classics, like Muppets Christmas Carol and Home Alone, alongside special events, such as wine tasting while watching Elf, and film presentations from the popular “Den of Geek” website.
It really is a truly unique experience right in the heart of Birmingham. If you’d like to check it out over this festive season, click here to see what they have one.
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