New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

Friday Photo- Old Snow Hill

Posted March 17th, 2017 by Anne-Marie Hayes with No Comments

I often pass this building located on Constitution Hill, but it wasn’t until my sister pointed it out to me that I decided to photograph it for this week’s Friday Photo. Today the building, known as Old Snow Hill, or The Snow Hill, is a homeless hostel, but it has a fascinating history, or rather the piece of land it’s situated on does. Originally, this site was home to a theatre called The New Star Theatre of Varieties, opened on 23 November 1883, and then in the 1900s, it came under new ownership and was renamed the Metropole Theatre. By 1911, it was transformed into a cinema and remained a cinema for the next thirty or so years. Its fate was forever altered when in 1941, it was bombed twice during the Second World War and remained derelict for the next ten years. The unused building was subsequently demolished in 1952 and in 1953, a new building was erected, but this time as a hotel. The irony is that the Art-Deco style building was designed by cinema architect Harry Weedon, so in someways, its cinematic legacy lived on. And, if you ever pass The Snow Hill, there’s quite a nice bakery located next door, which is highly recommended. Also, wishing you a very happy St. Patrick’s day!

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