The Electric | Britain’s oldest working cinema has closed its doors

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Birmingham’s The Electric, the UK’s oldest working cinema, closed its doors yesterday. More on the sad news below. 

This isn’t how we’d like to start a Friday. 

The BBC reports that The Electric, the UK’s oldest working cinema, has closed its doors. The Birmingham cinema held its final screening yesterday (29th February). No reason has been officially given. The BBC says it has confirmed the closure and has attempted to contact the owner. 

The Electric has been operating since 1909, but the 8.30pm showing of Wicked Little Letters yesterday was the cinema’s last for the foreseeable future.

However, organisers of the Flatpack Festival, who’ve hosted events at The Electric previously, wrote on their blog that the venue was not available this year due to the lease expiring. They called the closure “a deeply damaging move for Birmingham”. 

Flatpack also write that plans to demolish the street are currently in place and refer to a public meeting about Station Street’s future, but no further details are offered.

A petition has also been started and at the time of writing, it has 1,684 signatured out of the needed 2,500.

It’s another devastating blow to the cinema industry which is mostly dominated by big chains. Many have taken to social media to pay tribute to the wonderful venue and independent cinema in general. 

Filmmaker Mark Cousins tweeted: “The Electric is a brilliant part of Birmingham. It can’t die.”

Independent Birmingham called plans to demolish Station Street “cultural vandalism”. 

More on the fate of The Electric as we hear it – and we truly hope it’s good news. 

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