Odeon Panton Street
11-18 Panton Street,
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This was Europe’s first four-in-one cinema, and has a location just off Leicester Square in the West End district of central London. It opened on 12th January 1969 with Jack MacGowran in “Wonderwall” playing in all four screens. The following day, “Wonderwall” remained in one screen, while “Les Biches”, “The Sinning Urge” and “Who Saw Him Die” opened in the other three screens. It was built for the Compton Group who operated several porn cinemas and had their own distribution company; Compton Cameo Films. They built several more Cinecenta cinemas in major cities in England, which like the Cinecenta Panton Street played mostly independent and foreign art house films.
Nigel Farrington of the architectural firm Cassidy, Farrington and Dennys was the architect of this complex which had seating in the four screens; 138, 154, 150 and 145. The policy was to play off-beat and Art House foreign films.
Compton were eventually taken over by Star Cinemas and mainstream programming was started at the Cinecenta. Star Cinemas were taken over by Classic Cinemas and they in turn were taken over by the Cannon Cinemas group who re-named the complex Cannon Panton Street.
Further takovers and name changes continued; MGM, ABC Cinemas and currently Odeon Theatres, who currently programme the cinemas with foreign and art house movies.
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