Odeon North Watford

St. Alban's Road,
Watford, WD24

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Odeon North Watford

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally intend as a Lou Morris scheme to be named the Ritz Cinema, the cinema was bought during construction by Odeon and opened 27th November 1937 with that name. It was, sadly, one of the shortest lived of the purpose built cinemas in the town.

It had a wide plain facade in brick with a tall central window above the central entrance lighting the circle foyer cafe.

The auditorium was fabulous, designed in the cut away style by architect J. Owen Bond, there were four segments decending towards the wide plain proscenium arch with more of the honeycombe plasterwork used at the Gaumont. The interior decoration was by the well known interior designers Mollo & Egan. Lighting was entirely indirect, with coloured variations enhancing the gold and silver decor of the cinema. It was easily the most distinctive design in Watford.

However the proximity to the centrally located Odeon and Gaumont cinemas meant that the Odeon North Watford never had access to first release films and consequently was never a big player in town. It was amongst the first batch of the circuits cinemas put up for sale in 1959 and closed on 30th May 1959, after a weeks run of a film seen at the town centre Odeon three weeks earlier.

It was converted into a Waitrose supermarket, ironically retaining much of the decor of some areas such as the cafe, but in time this too closed and the building was demolished in January 1989. A block of flats named Gladesmore Court was built on the site.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Ian on January 29, 2006 at 3:34 am

Exterior photo of abandoned building shortly before demolition here:

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