Aedicules with Peacocks
Five aedicules frame windows at first floor level with heavily moulded jambs, scrolled sills and heads. The head of the frame is surmounted by a high relief peacock standing on a crown. The peacock feathers extend above and around the head and body of the bird to form a scallop-like shape.
In the East, peacocks were often included among the trappings of royalty, and they therefore came to be associated with both wealth and the exotic. For the cinema goer, they symbolised the promise of entry to a richer, more fantastical world than the one they lived in.
The architect William Benslyn had won the commission for the cinema in an architectural competition. Work on the present building began in December 1929 and was completed in July 1930. The Rink Cinema was opened by the Mayor of Smethwick on 7 July 1930 and continued as a cinema until 1 February 1964, when it was closed and converted into a bingo hall. A large entrance canopy and corporate identity severely diminish the quality of the original sculptural work.
PMSA recording information