National Recording Project


Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Aedicules with Peacocks


Type Other

     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.

Contributor details

Contributor Role
unknown, None Sculptor
Benslyn, William Thomas Architect

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Aedicule Stone, painted white 1.8m high

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
WMsaSMxx009 BM
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • Other
Structural condition
  • None
  • None
Road Windmill Lane
Precise location On west side of Windmill Lane, adjacent to Cape Hill market, on Mecca bingo hall fa├žade
A-Z ref 72 B2
OS ref SP028877
Date of design 1929-1930
Year of unveiling 1930
Unveiling details Unveiled 7 July 1930
Commissioned by Provincial Cinematograph Theatres Limited
Duty of care Mecca Bingo
Listing status II
At risk? Not at risk

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