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Art, culture & creativity
27 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Introducing The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery at Arena Birmingham

The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery opened during early December 2019. I first spotted them above the Legoland Discovery Centre near the end of last year. Popped back on New Year's Day 2020, but they were closed. So returned several days after that and met the couple behind The BCAG. At Arena Birmingham.

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Introducing The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery at Arena Birmingham





The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery opened during early December 2019. I first spotted them above the Legoland Discovery Centre near the end of last year. Popped back on New Year's Day 2020, but they were closed. So returned several days after that and met the couple behind The BCAG. At Arena Birmingham.


The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery opened on the 5th December 2019, in the units above the Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham, at Arena Birmingham. There are steps to the left to get up there. Or use the main steps from King Edwards Road and walk all the way around.

First spotted it on the 27th December 2019, on a photo walk around town with Karl Newton.

Found them on Twitter The BCAG and Instagram The BCAG. And they are now following / liking my photos. Thanks very much. They now have their own People with Passion page at The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery.

New Year's Day 2020 on the 1st January 2020, I decided to find where they were, and how to get to them. Got on from the Arena Birmingham steps near King Edwards Road. But you have to go around to the right, as no access to the left from there. Just headed all the way around until I found them.

Found these steps nearby, which would be easier for future visits.

Sign in the door. BCAG. But they were not open this day.

The BCAG with LDC Birmingham below.

View from the canalside on the Birmingham Canal Navigations, with the Lego Giraffe.

View from the other side of the canal. The BCAG above LDC Birmingham.

Tried again visiting on the 4th January 2020, and this was when I met them in person. Sarah Wallace & Albert Wallace. First off, a look around the gallery.

Metal figures, not sure what to make of them. Prefer the paintings on the walls though.

Art of the Bullring Bull.

Painting in a gold frame near the window. Another pair on the floor.

Metal vase on a glass topped table.

Was a lot of bright sunshine, leading to shadows that day.

More shadows over the paintings and figures.

BCAG sign near the entrance with pictures nearby.

White leather sofa in the corner. The Lego Giraffe outside looking in.

Lampshade with a curved arm. With bright sunshine outside. They have a nice view of the canal and Brindleyplace from here.

One last look at the gallery before I left.

Before I left, they wanted me to take a few photos of them. Near the Bullring Bull but a lot of shadows here.

More shadows and light, a bit better in this direction.

One more with the BCAG sign.

14th January 2020 and at the Birmingham We Are event. Jonathan Bostock introduces the Lord Mayor of Birmingham (for 2019-20) to the team behind The BCAG.

These artworks were at the Council House during the BWA annual event, I think they might be from BCAG (but am not sure). Near where Gloriana was.  This painting reminds me of Gozer, the evil ghost from the end of the original Ghostbusters film.

These little trees in frames are definitely from The BCAG. And the other figures. Plus they had their card on the table to the left.

This one also near the Gloriana sign. Looks like a bald African girl.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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Construction & regeneration
23 Jan 2020 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

The Construction of Three Arena Central (HMRC)

The crane at Three Arena Central in Birmingham has been dismantled and the parapet extension of the cladding has started. Take this post for a superb collection of photography.

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The Construction of Three Arena Central (HMRC)





The crane at Three Arena Central in Birmingham has been dismantled and the parapet extension of the cladding has started. Take this post for a superb collection of photography.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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History & heritage
22 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

The Electric Cinema: A Brumtography photo meet (January 2020)

The Brumtography Facebook group had a photo meet on the 20th January 2020 at The Electric Cinema on Station Street (opposite Birmingham New Street Station). We were there for over an hour or so. Exploring screens 1 and 2, the remains of the old curtain of the Tatler News Theatre, old reels of film in the basement and the old projection room. Plenty to see in this small cinema. Opened 1909.

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The Electric Cinema: A Brumtography photo meet (January 2020)





The Brumtography Facebook group had a photo meet on the 20th January 2020 at The Electric Cinema on Station Street (opposite Birmingham New Street Station). We were there for over an hour or so. Exploring screens 1 and 2, the remains of the old curtain of the Tatler News Theatre, old reels of film in the basement and the old projection room. Plenty to see in this small cinema. Opened 1909.


On Monday 20th January 2020, about 10 members of the Brumtography Facebook group met at The Electric for a photo meet organised by Karl Newton (who contacted them and got permission from them). We did initially meet in the foyer thinking that a member of staff would take us around, but in the end, they let us go around on our own. Although Karl had been before so knew his way around.

The Electric Cinema

Some history. The Electric opened in 1909, and showed it's first silent film that year on the 27th December 1909. It is the oldest working cinema in the UK, predating it's namesake in Notting Hill, London (also called the Electric Cinema), by two months. Over the last century or so, the cinema has undergone several name changes, but reverted back t The Electric in October 1993.

In the 1920s the cinema was bought out and became known as The Select, showing silent movies. In the 1930s Joseph Cohen bought the cinema, and by the late 1930s it was renamed to the Tatler News Theatre, where they showed Pathe rolling news, along with short films and cartoons. Jacey Cinemas Ltd was the name of Joseph Cohen's company after his initials JC. 

Afte the War, TV started to become popular, and in the 1950s it's name was changed to The Jacey Cartoon Theatre. By the 1960s it was renamed to The Jacey Film Theatre. By the 1970s the cinema was in decline, showing adult films. In the 1980s it was taken over by Lord Grade's "Classic" chain and split into two screens. By the mid 1980s it was now known as the Tivoli.

It was only by 1993 when the new owners renamed it back to it's original name of The Electric. Restoration took place between 2003 and 2004. It's original Art Deco features were restored. The Electric celebrated it's Centenary in 2009. And received a history plate from the Birmingham Civic Society in 2016.


So a reminder of the cinemas names: The Electric Theatre, The Select, The Tatler News Theatre, The Jacey, The Classic and The Tivoli. Before reverting back to The Electric Cinema.

 

This view of The Electric, from near the taxi rank at Birmingham New Street Station. There is a glass balcony railing, and I headed right and down the Southside Steps.

The Box Office. Buy your tickets here. There is also a bar to the left where you can buy drinks and food, no popcorn here.

Screen 1 is downstairs. With red seats at the front, and black leather sofas at the back. Is a piano / organ on the stage.

Behind screen 1 is the remains of the Tatler News Theatre of the 1930s and 1940s. The old screen used to be here. You can see the old curtains and various old posters. Including a poster for Xmas cartoons. Probably classic Disney cartoons.

Back in screen 1 from the stage.

Down to the basement, where they have a large collection of old film reels. Probably dating back decades.

Ticket prices back in the day were quite cheap compared to today.  Some smaller films on these shelves.

Into the old projection room, first thing I saw was BB8 from the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, and a trophy.

The old projector. To the right is the modern additions of the newer digital technology. So they don't need to use the old reels of film any more.

Upstairs to screen 2. A bit darker in here, even after the lights were turned on.

This screen has black leather sofas at the top and bottom.

Outside screen 2 is a gallery of art, which is apparently for sale. Some of the prints were done by Milan Topalović, who you may recall also did art for The Big Hoot (at Birmingham New Street Station in 2015) and The Big Sleuth (at Resorts World Birmingham in 2017).

Back outside after the end of the meet, saw a reflection of The Electric in the shiny panels of Birmingham New Street Station. At the time the sign below said UNCUT GEMS.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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Construction & regeneration
19 Jan 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham, One Chamberlain Square

A nice sunny winter day for some blue sky shots of One Chamberlain Square.

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Birmingham, One Chamberlain Square





A nice sunny winter day for some blue sky shots of One Chamberlain Square.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
17 Jan 2020 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

What's happening at 103 Colmore Row - take our January 2020 update

Take this post for a superb picture update of 103 Colmore Row from Birmingham's People with Passion Daniel, Tom & Karl. Steelwork continues its upward trajectory to the ninth floor, plus an exclusive first glimpse at the glass cladding, which was delivered a week ago. Update by our follower of construction Mr Stephen Giles.

 

 

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What's happening at 103 Colmore Row - take our January 2020 update





Take this post for a superb picture update of 103 Colmore Row from Birmingham's People with Passion Daniel, Tom & Karl. Steelwork continues its upward trajectory to the ninth floor, plus an exclusive first glimpse at the glass cladding, which was delivered a week ago. Update by our follower of construction Mr Stephen Giles.

 

 


Work has re-commenced on site soon after the well-earned Christmas and New Year break.

Steelwork is back on the rise, now reaching levels 8 & 9, but without doubt the biggest news saw the first batch delivery of glass panels delivered on Wednesday (January 15th).

Having arrived from Italy, the panels have been designed by the Italian firm, Focchi; a specialist in window and curtain walling systems. 

This latest update shows the fantastic progress being made on site, but also shows an exclusive first glimpse of the cladding.

Enjoy!

Photo by BobB1

Photos by Tom Grunt

Photo by Karl Newton

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Photo credit to Sterling Property Ventures

Words by Stephen Giles

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