Listing: Locally listed in 2004. Former cinema with striking red brick
and terracotta shaped gable end. Formerly the Queen's Picture House,
opened in 1921, extended to provide a new entrance in the 1930s. Landmark
Literature: Ned Williams, Cinemas of the Black Country, Uralia Press,
Comment: This cinema was originally built for Ernest Hall by
Messrs Crewe of Dudley. It opened on 17th October 1921. There were
600 seats, all upholstered, including those in the "balconette" and there was an
orchestra pit. Some time in the late 1920s the cinema was acquired by
Thomas Wood, whose flagship cinema was Wood's Palace in Bilston. He was a
leading light in the Bilston community, a councillor and, in 1935, Mayor of
Bilston. This was his Bradley venture at a time when the two communities
of Bradley and Bilston were distinct, though under the same Borough Council.
In 1936 Wood leased it to Cyril Joseph who added the new foyer to the side,
bricked up the original entrance to the front and changed the name from the
Queen's Picture House to The Forum. In 1957 the lease expired and a new
lease was taken by Mr and Mrs Woodroffe, who also owned the Alhamabra in
Bilston. They stopped showing films in 1964 and the building became a
bingo hall. In more recent years it has became a billiards hall.
The building is certainly a large and dominant structure in Bradley with an
interesting frontage - to which the large billboard does no favours at all - and
it has an interesting place in the social history of Bradley.