Presented by Flatpack Projects in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust.
The birthplace of celluloid and the Odeon circuit, Birmingham has been a cinema city since the very first flickering images astonished audiences in the late 19th century. This new exhibition will be a voyage through 125 years of movie-going, gathering unseen photographs and memorabilia alongside historic magic lanterns and optical toys from Birmingham’s collection. A unique 3D map created by Space_Play will set the scene for a cinema treasure hunt across the city, and you can get involved by sharing your own stories as well as taking part in events and activities throughout the summer.
The Odeon Story
We mentioned that Birmingham was the birthplace of the Odeon - Balsall Heath-born Oscar Deutsch opened his first Odeon cinema in Perry Barr in 1930, and by the time he died in 1941 the chain numbered over 250 cinemas!
South Asian Cinema
The exhibition explores the development of South Asian cinema in the city through venues like the Imperial and the Waldorf, bringing to light material from the private collection of the Randhawa family. From the 50s onwards three generations of Randhawas brought Indian films and stars to local audiences, creating an important gathering place for communities still finding their feet in the UK.
The Electric Cinema
Its 112-year existence encompassing everything from silent movies and newsreels to 70s erotica and the boutique sofa experience on offer today. Recently relaunched under new management, Wonderland will share some archival treasures from the cinema's basement.
Alongside the exhibition, there will be a programme of walks, events and special screenings across the city, kicking off with their sixteenth Flatpack Festival in May. For more information, visit the Wonderland website below: