This film is part of Free

Bull Ring Shopping Centre

A bright and breezy promotional tour of Brum's original mega-mall.

Documentary 1965 26 mins Silent


This bright and breezy promotional film explores every concrete corner of Birmingham's original mega-mall, from planning and construction to the site's official opening, attended by Prince Philip. Shopaholics, nostalgists and fans of Brutalist architecture alike may marvel at the mall's serene arcades, continental cafes and modern piazzas - a vision of modernity in concrete and piped muzak.

The film was made by the Bull Ring Centre's developers, John Laing & Son (the firm behind the M1 motorway construction and Coventry Cathedral), who had established their own in-house film unit in the 1950s. It intended to lure not prospective shoppers but the town planners and government officials who might stump up the cash for such grandiose civil engineering projects. Despite the film's relentless optimism, Birmingham's first Bull Ring centre dated quickly: plans for a re-design were being circulated not twenty years after completion. Its replacement finally opened in 2003.