The Rex Cinema Coventry


The Rex cinema, built in 1937, was one of the most sophisticated cinemas in the UK. Sadly it only lasted 3 years 6 months and 17 days before it was completely destroyed in World War II. The night before it was due to show “Gone with the Wind”.


When the cinema was bombed for the first time in August 1940, its grand restaurant and the tropical aviary it housed were damaged but survived and a rebuild was intended but, in the following November, a second bombing completely destroyed it. After the bombing the local paper reported that though the aviary in the restaurant was blown apart, a dozen of the birds were found to be still on their perches the morning after.

This is a work/project in progress, the images show current research and archival photographs (from the Herbert Museum Archive) which are the source of developing work.