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Petition to save the UK's oldest cinema

Petition to save the UK's oldest cinema

The cinema was built in a converted taxi rank, and showed its first film on 27 December 1909

A petition to save the UK's oldest operating cinema is set to go before councillors.

Birmingham's Electric Cinema dates back to 1909, but last week it suddenly closed its doors for the foreseeable future.

Activists are calling on local leaders to find an alternative vision for the site and achieve a balance Apply to have the cinema registered as an asset of community value.

The petition, which will be presented to Birmingham City Council at a later date, has more than 15,000 signatures with a goal of 25,000.

The Flatback Film Festival, an annual event that has used the cinema as a venue for years, shared the petition on the X, which will be presented at a full council meeting.

'It's not a done deal'

A festival spokesperson said: “It has been very moving to see the response to the news of The Electric closing on Thursday.”

“The main thing to say is: This is not a done deal. Working together, we can save this place.”

“Any plans for the site are hearsay at this stage, but it is clearly important that we begin to formulate an alternative vision for the regeneration of St Station,” they added in their posting on Monday.

The Electric, with its Art Deco façade, has two screens that show 35mm films as well as digital.

Built in a converted taxi rank in Station Street, it screened its first film on 27 December 1909 and showed silent films backed by piano.

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In the 1970s, the cinema showed films for adults before moving to mainstream screenings alongside art films.

The full Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 14:00 GMT.

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