Shabana has written regarding the closure of the Electric Cinema.
Shabana has written regarding the closure of the Electric Cinema.

Shabana has written to the Leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor John Cotton, following news that the Electric Cinema has permanently closed.

News that the cinema, the oldest working cinema in the UK, is set to close was met with widespread disappointment.

In her letter, Shabana relays the concerns of her constituents and people across Birmingham regarding the closure.

Shabana asks Cllr Cotton to consider the petition calling for the council to designate Station Street a historic, cultural and civic asset.

You can read the letter in full below.

Letter to the Council Leader

Dear John

I am writing regarding the news that the Electric Cinema has closed permanently.

The Electric cinema is an iconic building on a historic street, steeped in the city’s heritage and culture, having operated since 1909. It is one of those places that is uniquely Birmingham and is a shining example of a thriving independent business – not only holding regular screenings but also providing venue space for events such as Flatpack Film Festival.

I agree with Brummies from across our city and my Birmingham Ladywood constituency who consider that the loss of the cinema will leave a hole in Birmingham’s cultural scene and be a blow to our architectural heritage. I share their concerns are heightened by recent news that plans to refurbish and reopen another historic venue on Station Street, the Crown, have not been successful.

Insiders have alleged that the entire historic street is set to be demolished for more residential high-rises. Residents are rightly outraged that a building and a street that has survived two World Wars and a pandemic can’t survive the Birmingham bulldozer. It speaks to a wider concern that the city and its planners are pursuing a slash and burn strategy when it comes to buildings of historic significance.

I understand a petition has been launched to designate Station Street a historic, cultural and civic asset, that at the time of writing has over 16,000 signatures. I hope that you will give it your full consideration when speaking to planners and senior officers about the future of the street. I also understand that Historic England is considering applications to list the cinema and the campaign has my full support.

I would be grateful if you could inform me if any discussions have taken place between prospective developers and planning officials at Birmingham City Council regarding the site.

I look forward to receiving your response.

Yours sincerely

Shabana Mahmood

Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood

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