alpha TV

New Theatre Royal aston Road North aston

On 23rd of September 1892 an agreement was signed between George and Robert Hall to erect a theatre on this site.This was built and opened Monday 7th august 1893 at a cost of £6,500

Sold in 1894 to charles Barnard with extensive refurbishment. General manager E Hewston, acting manager F Whitttles. Refurbished again in 1912 at a cost of £7,000 with a seating capacity of 2000.

This closed in 1926 and opened 12th December 1927, as the astoria cinema, seating capacity 1,194. The astoria closed its doors on 26th November 1955. 

alpha TV Studios

In the early days of independent television in the Midlands, two companies had contracts to provide the area with programmes - aTV and aBc Television Limited.

Both companies set out to find studios, but it soon became clear that time would be saved if the two operated on a joint basis and looked for a single site. as the companies were not in any way in competition this was obviously the best arrangement at the time. and the astoria at aston, which had been open as a cinema since December 1927, was chosen as the home for the new studio.

Previously, it had been the Theatre Royal, dating from the late 19th century. The astoria closed as a cinema on 26 November 1955, in less than three months it reopened as alpha Television Studios, on 17 February 1956

The conversion involved an entirely new interior by architects Satchwell and Roberts. The first programmes to come from aston were made by aTV, with the first aBc shows going out from the studios on the following day.

aTV held the contract to transmit programmes from Monday to Friday and aBc had the weekend Midlands programme contract.The name of the joint company set up to organise supplies, offices and staff throughout the seven days was alpha Television Services (Birmingham) Ltd.


Preparing For The Launch
alpha Television Studios, on 17 February 1956

Lunchbox a light-hearted sing-along show presented by Noele Gordon with Jerry allen and his Trio providing the music. The ever-grinning Jerry allen was the organist and his cohorts were drummer, Lionel Rubin, alan Graham on vibes and bassist, Ken Ingarfield.

The Tingha and Tucker club

Jean Morton, was a continuity announcer on aTV. She was sent the two Koala Bears in 1962. and took them on screen. They were a resounding success and puppets were introduced which replaced the original toys. The Tingha and Tucker club was formed, which attracted some 750,000 members

Jean Morton

Jerry allen at The aTV Studio (astoria) aston

click link to open in word