Today’s post is a Guest Post by Matt from Birmingham Blogger. I for one did not realise how many cinema choices we have in Birmingham, but fortunately Matt is here to explain which ones are the best for certain occasions. Thanks to Matt for writing this post, and be sure to head over to the Birmingham Blogger blog to find out more about the city!
As England’s Second City, Birmingham is awash with things to do, from shopping and restaurants to museums and parks. It has got to the point that you may be a little overwhelmed by the choices!
You are not left wanting for options when it comes to cinemas either. Birmingham has a vast array of film going experiences, and it is a sector currently going through a few changes. On the 6th of January, the Giant Screen, Formerly the IMAX, at Millennium point ceased operating as a commercial cinema. The decision was made when it revealed the 70ft by 41ft screen, first opened in 2001, had been operating at a loss for years.
On the other side of the spectrum, the Mailbox recently announced that luxury cinema chain Everyman Cinemas will be opening its first franchise in the Midlands in early 2015. The up-scale three screen cinema will feature actual sofas in place of standard cinema chairs, with a fully licensed bar and restaurant attached.
Until then, here are our picks for the top cinemas in Birmingham, and when you may want to go to them:
For. . . A Night out with Friends – Cineworld
181 Broad Street Birmingham B15 1DA
Going to the cinema is traditionally a social activity, but certain social groups have different needs. If you’re going out with friends, then a lot of the big name cinemas will do just fine. But one in Birmingham is in a particularly good place should you feel like going out afterwards. Cineworld Birmingham is situated at the top of Broad Street, the centre for nightlife in the city, and the cinema sits directly opposite the Gatecrasher nightclub. So if you want to catch a movie before a night on the tiles, this is ideal.
For. . . Something different – mac
Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH
While not a cinema you may have heard of, the mac cinema has one of the most diverse film selections in the region, and is unique in that it is part of an art centre. mac runs a lot of exhibitions throughout the year, alongside art classes, and this refined taste is reflected in the movies it shows. Independant and art house movies, as well as screenings of theatre productions, are the order of the day. You are unlikely to see any Michael Bay explosion-fests gracing the bill anytime soon!
For. . . Retail refuge – Odeon New Street
139 New Street, Birmingham, West Midlands B2 4NU
Nestled in the middle of New Street, which runs between the Bullring shopping centre and Birmingham town hall, is Odeon New Street. If you’ve had a busy day shopping and want to take a load off before journeying home, this 8 screen cinema is the place for you. And if you want to treat yourself to a sneaky Ben & Jerrys, go for it! You’ve had a hard day shopping, you’ve earned it!
For. . . Date night – Odeon Broadway Plaza
220 Ladywood Middleway, Birmingham B16 8LP
A little bit removed from the hustle and bustle of the city centre (and its smaller sister), Odeon Broadway Plaza is a 12 screen modern monolithe, complete with a brand new iSense screen, now the flag bearer for the big screen experience in the city following the closure of the Giant Screen (Cineworld also boasts an IMAX screen). What makes it ideal for a date night, however, is it’s location.
Broadway Plaza has a multitude of restaurants to choose from, just feet from the cinema exit. There is also a Bowlplex bowling alley if you’re after something physical, and if you don’t feel like going home at the end, there is a Travelodge hotel on site too.
For. . . Entertaining the kids – Vue Star City
Star City, 100 Watson Road, Birmingham, GB B7 5SA
Sometimes, cinemas just aren’t enough. If it’s the kids holidays, they may not be happy with “just” a cinema (blame them, not us!). Luckily, Star City has more than enough onsite entertainment to keep them happy. On top of the Vue cinema, there is also: bowling, mini golf, laser tag, a funfair, and indoor climbing. As well as this, there are also lots of options for where to eat, from the ever reliable McDonalds and KFC, to more upscale restaurants like The Real China and Shere Khan’s.
For. . . Something intimate – The Electric Cinema
47-49 Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY
Finally, we come to something that many people consider to be one of Birmingham’s best kept secrets.The Electric Cinema, which has been around for more than 100 years and offers a package few other cinemas can beat. The small screens, nostalgic style and slight lean towards more independent movies creates a unique atmosphere, only aided by the option to sit on full leather couches and get table service from the bar. As far as ideal first date locations go, it’s difficult to beat.