Quinton Cinema celebrates 75 years providing top rank movies

Quinton Cinema opened as The Danilo in 1939.

Quinton Cinema opened as The Danilo in 1939.

First published in Local
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QUINTON Cinema celebrated 75 years providing the public with the latest movies by rolling back prices.

Now a Reel Cinema the picture house has continually provided entertainment since it opened on Monday, August 7, 1939 as a Danilo Cinema.

The first film shown was Charlie Chan in Honolulu starring Sidney Toler and James Mason's I Met a Murderer followed that week.

Ticket prices at the time were 6d; 1/- and 1/6 which inspired the management to charge £1.50 for a film last Thursday.

Reel Cinemas managing director Naveen Suri said: "We wanted to mark the 75th anniversary and decided to charge £1.50 a ticket for a day.

"The cinema is still popular and has been a long part of Quinton's history and has had several names over the year including The Danilo, an ABC, Cannon and Odeon."

He added: "We are planning to refurbish the cinema in the near future and are looking forward to the old Co-Op next door being converted into a gym which should help us."

When WW2 broke out the Government ordered cinemas to be closed for safety reasons but the Danilo had other uses during the war.

An anti-aircraft gunnery was built in the car park and it became a base for Quinton's Home Guard.

When Quinton Hall was evacuated after a land mine was dropped in its grounds its residents spent several days living in the cinema's stalls.

The cinema's kept the show on the road by screening newsreels and feature films.

After the war cinemas became less popular but Quinton's picture house remained open, trading under the name of the Quinton Essoldo after 1954.

The owners fought a successful battle to change the route of the M5 after plans had been drawn up to demolish the building in favour of the new motorway.

Live music became more popular and stars including Marty Wilde, Billy Fury and Johnny Duncan graced the stage. In November 1961 The Rank Organisation decided to close The Warley Odeon which boosted attendance at Quinton. By a quirk of law, after boundary changes meant the location was classed as Halesowen, the cinema also became the only cinema in the country to open on a Sunday.

In 1972 the cinema became the Quinton Classic and in July 1973 after refurbishment it reopened with three auditoriums, on the opening day the films were Cabaret, The Ten Commandments’ and The Sound of Music.

A fourth auditorium was added in 1978, then in May 1986, it became a Cannon cinema, then later it became an ABC and then an Odeon.

Now one of 15 Reel Cinemas across the country the cinema is still going strong.

Mr Suri added: "We need people to support their local cinema so pop in and see a film."

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