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Demolished in 1997, Morrisons Supermarket car park now occupies the site
Hartlepool Council have started emergency repair works to the Odeon, with the Young Street elevation of the building now covered in scaffolding. The council have been forced to act after the owners carried out inadequate work following falling masonry from the windows at top level and the curved windows on the corner of the building. The repairs are expected to cost in the region of £20,000 which the council plans to claim back from its owners. Some of the doorways added to allow fire escape from Joe Pools & Caesars Palace have also been boarded up by the council, as the doors were starting to decay.
Hartlepool Borough Council have now boarded off parts of the footpath around the former Odeon building, namely areas at both corners where the large glass tiled windows are located. It has been reported pieces of masonary have been falling, so the council have acted to protect passing members of the public. The owners have been asked to carry out remedial work and find a use for the building. See article below from Hartlepool Mail:
“It is with some sadness that we have to report that our long running campaign to save the former Odeon cinema in Pilgrim Street has now come to an unsatisfactory end. Brookfield, the current owners of the East Pilgrim Street development site invited Geoffrey Purves and John Matthews along with John Burns of Mackellar architects to have a look at the interior on Tuesday 25th of May. The building has been stripped of anything of value, and more importantly the specific fixtures and fittings which were so crucial in English Heritages original listing decision in 2000. We believe that Cinven, the owners at the time, who along with the Rank Organisation successfully appealed to the DCMS to controversially de-list the former Grade II listed Odeon, took the opportunity at that time to ensure that nothing remained worth listing. We understand from Brookfield that they do have some items â€œin storageâ€ but as yet they havenâ€™t indicated what they themselves have removed or indeed the condition of the interior when they themselves took possession. The elegant and elaborately worked ornamental balustrades manufactured by local architectural metalworkers M Aynsley and Company of Heber Street which many members will remember leading up to the foyers from the main Pilgrim Street entrance have been ripped out leaving gaping holes in the concrete stairs. Shadows on the walls are all that remain of the decorative lighting sconces and other original fittings.
Geoffrey and John visited the former screen 2 and 3 on the ground floor, now with their separating wall removed, (probably because of the asbestos insulation used in the 70â€™s conversion) and now returned back a single space as it was when first opened, then upstairs to screen 1, the largest which still could seat over 1000 patrons at the time of closure in 2002. Some of the original ornate metal side cheeks which graced the row ends were stacked awaiting removal along with other remnant of the auditorium seating. The highly ornate decorative fixtures above the lighting columns which were also original fittings when the cinema was opened in 1931 by Paramount have all been removed. The last part of the tour was at the top of the building in the projection room where, apart from some electrical control units, nothing remains.
It seems that anything which could be taken has been taken, which of course as owners of the building at the time Cinven were perfectly entitled to do. However the fact that the Society had submitted a document to the DCMS providing additional information to substantiate our request for them to return the Odeonâ€™s Grade II listed status, and it was therefore still â€œunder considerationâ€ we still feel it was a cynical act of wanton destruction by the owners. It took the DCMS seven years to respond to this report despite numerous letters and telephone calls from the Society as each time we were told â€œno decision has yet been madeâ€.
The Society believes that the DCMSâ€™s record in this sad affair has been lamentable and wish to see the new Government resurrect the proposed Heritage Bill (quietly dropped by the Labour Government a year or so ago) which would remove the DCMS (and its transient Ministers) from the equation and allow English Heritage to be the final arbiter in listing and delisting decisions. We are well aware that the Minister at the DCMS at the time was heavily lobbied by the previous owners Rank and venture capitalists Cinven (the new owners of the Odeon and ABC cinema and theatre estates), (including a former Government Heritage Minister) and rather than accepting two separate reports from English Heritage recommending the Odeonâ€™s protection and Grade II listing, she preferred to accept a professionally commissioned report from the owners on appeal. Cinven went on to sell off the Odeon /ABC to other cinema chains but sold the most valuable sites on to developers (including the Newcastle site) which is why they lobbied strongly to get listed status removed.
The Societyâ€™s concern is that if this can happen to the Odeon, which at the time considering its age was remarkably intact and certainly worthy of listing, other buildings are therefore potentially at risk. As owners (and councils) see no commercial advantage in retention, other buildings which currently have listed building protection could be at risk if they stand in the way of new development. They could have their listed status challenged and subsequently removed in the same way as the Odeon on appeal to the DCMS. In this way we could loose other important fine examples of art dÃ©cor 20th century architecture on the Pilgrim Street site Carliol House and the Magistrates Court, a group of buildings which including the Odeon are arguably as important historically to the architectural heritage of Newcastle as the much valued Grainger Town.
To end on a more positive note, Brookfield have provisionally agreed an offer of financial support to capture all of the available information, be it photographic, written or spoken memories relating to the Paramount/Odeon over it’s 80 year lifespan; and to assist in the creation of an exhibition somewhere in the city, possibly leading to finding a permanent home for any memorabilia we can obtain from former employees and members of the public. We are certainly in agreement with Brookfield that IF the building must be lost to future generations, its sad demise MUST be recorded in a professional and complete manner. We have lost too many buildings in the past without proper studies being carried out. It is the least this fine historic building deserves. The Northumberland and Newcastle Society have offered our assistance in this initiative.
A more complete history of the Societies campaign to â€œ Preserve the Paramountâ€ will be complied by John Matthews who was Chair of the Tyneside Committee at the time of the Odeonâ€™s de-listing and will be posted along with his series of black and white images of the Paramount in 1931 in the near future.â€
some interior photos taken on 25th May can be seen here:
The footpath along the facade of the Odeon has recently been closed off with barriers running the full length of the building and also behind the shops and South west corner (Near fire escape). Further to the post of March 2nd, it appears that some structural problems may be the cause. The exterior walls are showing signs of damp ingress, with mould appearing in various places. Whether the council enforce the owners to carry out remedial repairs will have to be seen.
to see more on the plans go to the following and type 09/2976/COU into the application reference boc
Some good news. Jomast have had plans to restore and refurbish the former ABC/Globe theatre passed by Stockton on Tees council and plan to re-open it as a live entertainment venue, retaining its original features and removing the horrible tiled facade at ground level. The plans also involve incorporating a vacant building adjacent to the globe into the main venue. for more information go to www.jomast.co.uk
Apologies, screen 4 seats 40, the proposed capacity for Screen 5 has not been announced
Its also understood that further work in Screen 1 will include increasing legroom in the central area of the auditorium, this will be done sometime in the Autumn, the rolling restoration of this cinema will now take about 3 years instead of 2, due to the current financial situation. At least Mr Suri is putting his money where his mouth is. 10/10 so far
After opening screen 4 in unused space on the first floor, Mr Suri now plans to create a 5th screen in the former shop space on the ground floor. Although this will only seat 40, it will increase the viewing options and hopefully allow the continued operation of this cinema. The space had been previously been earmarked for conversion into an Indian restaurant and is subject to planning approval. ODEON bosses take note: you can adapt !!!!! rather than call it a day and walk away
Recently, an engineer from Hartlepool Borough Council has visited the Odeon to carry out an external inspection following reports that part of a wall was showing signs of bulging and loose bricks. Whilst no action has been taken to date, the owners have been advised. The building is still a priority on the council ‘grot-spot’ list of buildings, however problems on agreeing a price have so far put off any offers to redevelop the site. Over 28 years since it ended its cinema life, its deterioration is becoming more evident.
Hartlepool Borough Council are looking at compulsory purchase as the current owners are not carrying out any remedial work on the building to improve its appearance. It is a high priority on Mayor Drummonds ‘Grot Spot’ list. The council have already ensured several buildings have either been redeveloped or demolished and the Odeon is probably one of the worst offenders left. It looks highly likely they will then consider de-listing and demolition. As only the stone front images are listed, these could be removed and allow the bulldozers in. Most of the interior was altered / damaged when converted to Caesars Palace in the early 90’s so little probably remains apart from ceiling areas in the foyer which aare hidden above suspended ceilings. The council are eager to deal with the Odeon as it is in a prominent position close to the town centre and with Hartlepool being a ‘Tall Ships 2010’ host port, they are expecting around a million visitors. This is certainly one building in the town they do not want to be seen. With pigeons having access via the side windows since 1981, these areas of the building must be ripe, as they were not used even when it re-opened some 15 or so years ago. Hopefully some recording of its features both inside or out will be carried out if it is in fact demolished. Its certain there is little hope of it being brought back into a useful role, having almost gone through 3 decades since it was in full use. Another of Hartlepools prominent buildings left to rot. With the Wesley Chapel (former Wesley Nightclub) out of use again, it wont be long before that bacomes an eyesore yet again.
Still no sign of any physical progress on the Odeon, 28 and a half years after showing its last film. It appears that Hartlepool Borough Council may be looking at a compulsory purchase order on the building as it is ‘high priority’ on its list of ‘grot spots’. If the council do buy the building, it will be interesting to see how they will spend the council taxpayers money on it. Refurbish/demolish/convert ???
Its understood that the Odeon will be moving from its current position in the Metro Centre (Blue Quadrant) to the (Yellow Quadrant) where the Metroland indoor amusement park has recently been closed down. That part of the Metro Centre is undergoing redevelopment following the successful extension and refurbishmet of the Red Quadrant. The current cinema will then be turned into further retail units
Articl from the Derby Evening Telegraph
Scores of objections over plans to demolish most of a former cinema have been lodged.
Developer Square Peg Investments is behind the proposal to knock down the former Robins Cinema building in Guild Street, Burton.
But more than 15 letters opposing the plans have been sent to East Staffordshire Borough Council along with objections from the Cinema Theatre Association and The Theatres Trust.
The developer has applied to the authority for conservation area consent so it can knock down the cinema building, but keep the former 1867 opera house facade.
Square Peg Investments has also submitted a separate planning application to build a four-storey building, containing 30 apartments, on the site.
Planners have recommended that both applications are refused. A final decision will be made at a meeting on Monday.
the only contact number regarding the site is for the current owners birotex group, mainsforth terrace, hartlepool 01429 273491. Time is running out as the council are looking at possible development into housing for the site. The property was on sale through an agent offers circa Â£500,000, but bearing in mind its continuing deterioration and the fact the owners have been removing nightclub fittings from within, it must be worth less than that now. I have no photos from within, though the Hartlepool Mail (local newspaper) might be able to assist 01429 221221. The main part of the auditorium is painted all black following its use as Caesars Palace (the original ceiling is still visible), there is a small bar at the rear stalls and the rear circle is believed to house 2 small cinemas (never opened) which were included by the owners in the mid 90’s for a development that never came to fruition. The original staircase from the foyer to the first floor foyer remains, little has been changed here as large areas have remained out of use since its closure in 1981
Sad News….another Odeon bites the dust
The Odeon is scheduled to close on 14th June 2007 after 70 years. It is a Grade II listed art-deco building. There are still hopes it can be saved from conversion to a ‘mixed use’ development of small retail units, restaurants and licensed premises. (Taken from Chester & District Standard , 17th May)
the future of the odeon looks bleak. Hartlepool council are now looking at listed building demolition following the results of the study that gave no feasable re-use for the building. Attached link shows report from council website
New ‘for sale’ signs have appeared on the Odeon building. these have been fitted by the current owner and have their telephone number on. It is described ad a ‘development opportuniy’ suitable to conversion to flats, shops etc subject to planning consent. Over 25 years since it last showed a film and there is still no firm plan for this crumbling old cinema.
On the Odeon Website 12.08am Sept 1st:
“We are sad to announce that ODEON York is now closed.
We would like to thank all our guests over the past years for your business and support. For enquiries about unused ODEON Vouchers please contact us here. "
I bet the corporate suits are really SAD!!!
Keep it up Tim, we will get her back in business one day
Some more info: THe first option looks interesting, the second could see the end of the building…
A little background as to why this piece of work is being carried out. A Commercial Areas and Key Buildings Strategy was developed which highlighted deep seated economic problems in the area and in particular specific buildings. The Odeon is seen as one of six key strategic buildings within the New Deal for Communities regeneration programme and is a Grade II listed building. Two HBC departments, Economic Development and Regeneration, are working with the owners of these properties to encourage them to bring these building back in to use or at least address the condition they are at present left in. Development work is well underway with the other 5 properties, which resulted in a need to progress work with the Odeon.
Taking in to account the restrictions regarding a Grade II listed property, Rix Regeneration were the preferred consultants appointed to carry out a study to try to identify a viable end use for the Odeon. The event on 20th July was to inform local residents and businesses about the study and to give them the opportunity to comment.
At present there are two interested parties in the building, the first is a local community group wanting to develop the building in to a community theatre with meeting/training room facilities, etc. The second interested party is looking to either develop the building or re-develop the site to create housing accommodation (client group over 50’s).
The study will look at these two options, and any others that may come to light, to determine which would be the most viable and sustainable. Elements such as funding, planning permission, listing status, etc., will have an impact. Therefore, we must remember that whatever the recommendations of the study are there is no guarantee they will come to fruition. The study is to be completed by the end of September 06.
A current shot, from a similar position to the 1950’s picture
Looking in a very sorry state now. The results of the feasability study are expected at the end of September. From previously stating that the council would not consider demolition, the words now appear on the forum agenda. Bearing in mind how many other significant buildings in the town have gone (Empire Theatre, Lynn Street, Fairworld Cinema, etc) it looks like the Odeon could be next, no doubt replaced by an apartment block, which are appearing on any vacant pieces of land in the town now.
Hartlepool borough council have recently held a meeting with businesses and residents from the Odeon neighbourhood. This is part of a plan to find an alternative use for the building or consider re-development of the site (demolition of the grade II building). Attached is the agenda for the consultative forum from the council website. A structural survey has been carried out as part of the feasability study of the Odeon. Could the former Majestic/Odeon be coming to the end of its days???
It looks like they are now taking it apart brick by brick, almost a week just to remove the top part of the tower where the ODEON sign was fixed and to demolish the projection room and upper corridor rooms. At this rate the building could still be there at Christmas!!! Poor old Mandale properties, they wanted their new shiny tower block to be ready for September 2007, hope they are not using the same builders that are doing Wembley Stadium!!!!!!!!!
After almost 2 weeks of little activity, demolition seems to have re-started, with the two bulldozers once again tearing at the building, contractors seem to be busy stripping out the balcony and upper floor(where the projection box is located). It was interesting to see today, that the ‘Jumpin Jaks’ signs have been removed from the tower, revealing the red ‘ODEON’ signage that was covered over. It seems that this building will finally disappear in the next few days (unless it has another suprise in store!!!). This will have been a costly demolition, with Fry Street still closed to traffic and the security costs to keep intruders out of the part demolished structure.