Odeon Nottingham

9 Angel Row,
Nottingham, NG1 6HN

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Last days of the Odeon Nottingham.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built for and originally operated by the County Cinemas chain, this opened as the Ritz Cinema. Local architect Albert J. Thraves was also brought in by the main architects Verity & Beverley.

The main facade on busy Angel Row was narrow and gave no indication to the size of the vast auditorium that lay behind it. The Ritz Cinema was fully equipped with a large stage, a Conacher 4Manual/22Rank theatre organ which was designed by organist Reginald Foort (who opened the instrument) and a large cafe/restaurant. The opening film on 4th December 1933 was “The Private Lives of Henry VIII” starring Charles Laughton.

Odeon Theatres Ltd. gained a controlling interest in County Cinemas from 1935 and took full control in 1939, but the Ritz Cinema retained its name until 1944 when it was re-named Odeon.

The Conacher organ was last used during the run of the Todd A.O. production of “South Pacific” and was removed from the theatre in 1964 and split up. The stage was used less often in later years, but did get a short term re-use in the early-1960’s when pop groups such as The Beatles played in concerts to packed houses in the theatre.

The original auditorium was destroyed in 1964 when the Odeon became the first cinema in the United Kingdom to be split into a twin screen operation. The architectural firm Harry W. Weedon Partnership were responsible for the conversion, with Trevor Stone & Mavis Stone the interior design consultants. It re-opened on 12th July 1965 with two modern curtain walled auditoriums. The upper Odeon 1 in the former circle had 924 seats and was designed as a showcase for roadshow presentations and opened with “The Sound of Music”. The Odeon 2 screen in the former orchestra stalls level had 1,450 seats and played regular releases, opening with “Mary Poppins”.

Odeon 2 was further sub-divided in 1976 when it was made into 3 screens seating 500, 130 and 110. A new screen, Odeon 5 was fitted into a former basement reception room and had 101 seats. In 1988 another room in the basement was made into Odeon 6 which seated 90 persons.

The Odeon 1-6 closed on 26th January 2001 and stood unused until September 2012, when demolition commenced. A hotel, apartments, shops and a car park are planned for the site.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

Cinefan
Cinefan on January 6, 2009 at 9:18 am

I thought it would be of intrest to inform you that plans have been improved for demolition of the building and building of a 3-11 storey office building.

The article is here, but it’s a subscription site. I think the bit that’s shown explains it all.

http://www.regen.net/news/login/871065/

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 1, 2009 at 12:41 am

The Odeon Twin was the subject of an article in the American trade publication Boxoffice Magazine, October 25, 1965. It says that the plans for the 1964-65 rebuilding were made by the architectural firm of Harry W. Weedon and Partners, and the interior design consultants were Trevor Stone and Mavis Stone. Among the photos accompanying the article is one of the marquee displaying the announcement “Grand Opening July 12th.”

Stevethequeen
Stevethequeen on June 4, 2012 at 6:30 am

My uncle was the doorman at the odeon in the early 60’s he wore a purple Great coat and cap with gold trim on the shoulders, he let the Beatles out of the back entrance when they played there, and got there autographs, it was to packed With fans at the front door to get there car anywhere near!! Steve notts

surf_digby
surf_digby on September 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm

The bulldozers have started. The Odeon Nottingham shall shortly be no more.

70mmbobbyj
70mmbobbyj on October 5, 2012 at 1:01 pm

After reading the overview and seeing photo’s of screen 1 & 2 it seems strange that “1” was for Roadshows yet the screen in “2” seems to be bigger “image wise”. The same can be said of the old Odeon at Bradford.I saw a photo of the opening films for Nottingham Odeon and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was on in screen “2”, it was shot in Ultra Panavision 70mm.

vadek
vadek on January 10, 2013 at 6:48 am

Very sad to see that this has been demolished. I remember being on a behind-the-scenes tour just prior to it opening as a twin screen cinema. I was in my early teens at the time and used to see 2-3 films a week in Nottingham throughout my teens. I’ll always remember the Odeon as being shiny and new. I still remember the projection “suite” with a rotating micro-switch drum to control curtains, lights etc.

Empire_fan
Empire_fan on July 10, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Nice cinema sad this was 2001.

Link to some pictures.

http://www.urbexforums.com/showthread.php/11524-Nottingham-Odeon-2001

goodshow
goodshow on July 11, 2015 at 8:49 am

Exactly 50 years ago this fortnight to its original broadcast on ITV television, here’s the link to a mini-video from the archive of the East and West Midlands' universities' media project regarding the then new automatic control system

http://www.macearchive.org/Archive/Title/atv-today-05071965-nottingham-cinema/MediaEntry/10882.html

CF100
CF100 on August 1, 2017 at 4:26 pm

The link in goodshow’s post no longer works; however the video can be viewed at:

http://www.macearchive.org/films/atv-today-05071965-nottingham-cinema

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