101 Things Birmingham Gave The World. No 4. Hollywood

No, not Hollywood up by the Maypole. The real one of blockbusters and stars rather than Blockbuster, Poundland and burnt-out cars. Because without a certain city not very far away you’d not be watching George Clooney gurn with his chest out, nor would you be able to grin through gritted teeth at the antics of those Fourty Year Old Hangover chaps with the comedy.

We’d have missed the stars and the studio system, had to put up with only On The Buses between Ealing and Love…Actually. Or watched things with subtitles, confused as to exactly what all of the smoking men were mumbling about.

Because, movies are made of film, and film is made of celluloid. Which was a revolutionary new type of thing called a thermoplastic , first created as Parkesine in 1862 by Alexander Parkes in, yes you’ve guessed it, Birmingham.

Author: Jon Bounds

Jon was voted the ‘14th Most Influential Person in the West Midlands’ in 2008. Subsequently he has not been placed. He’s been a football referee, venetian blind maker, cellar man, and a losing Labour council candidate: “No, no chance. A complete no-hoper” said a spoilt ballot. Jon wrote and directed the first ever piece of drama performed on Twitter when he persuaded a cast including MPs and journalists to give over their timelines to perform Twitpanto. But all that is behind him.