The UK’s oldest working cinema is set to reopen under new ownership following its forced closure at the start of the pandemic. The 112-year-old Electric Cinema in Birmingham will be opening its doors to its two screens once again, after it closed in 2020.

Built in 1897 as a music hall, it became a cinema in late 1909, with an art-deco frontage and two screens which show 35mm films as well as digital, as the pandemic struck, everything at the movie theatre was turned off and the doors closed.

Now film fan Kevin Markwick has just taken over the old cinema and he's on a mission to share his love of the silver screen.

"There's nothing like listening to an audience enjoying a film, he says. “There’s nothing like listening to kids giggling uncontrollably at Home Alone, or ET. You can't get that with streaming.

“You just can't." The Electric is thought to be the oldest working cinema in the country.

Growing up working in and now runs The Uckfield Picture House in Sussex, Kevin knew the cinema was loved in the city and decided to take it over in a deal that was finalised in November. He was, however, surprised by the reaction he got when he announced the reopening.

"I think if there's anything we need to do it's to promote cinema for younger audiences,” he said “and get them to experience it properly, so they understand what they're missing."

His daughter Katie, who has moved up from Eastbourne to take over the running of the building, is now training new staff, overseeing the cleaning, painting and decorating and ordering in new equipment, including new screens. But she has an eye on what the long-term ambition will be.

She said: "I can see what it can be and I think we can do it. It will be stressful and it will take a couple of years to get settled but I think we can make it something special.

“We love films and the building. It's been here since 1909 and has seen the entirety of film history.

“That is amazing," she added. "We just love cinema.”

With a new online ticketing system in operation, the estimated cost of bringing the building back to life is £100,000.