Everyman Muswell Hill

Fortis Green Road,
London, N10 3HP

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Odeon Muswell Hill

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Odeon Theatre was one of the original cinemas in the Oscar Deutsch owned Odeon Theatres Ltd. chain. It opened on 9th September 1936 with the British comedy film “Educated Evans” starring Max Miller. Seating was originally provided for 1,827, with 1,217 in the stalls and 610 in the circle.

Located on a corner site, the Odeon’s rather small facade is covered with white faience tiles in the central section, with two bays either side that are covered in black faience tiles. On either side are a parade of shops on the ground floor with flats above, which hide the bulk of the auditorium section of the building. There is a small car park at the rear.

Inside the building, the decorative Art Deco styling is considered a prime example of 1930’s cinema styling and even created a style to itself, thanks due in this case to architect George Coles, it became known as the ‘Odeon style’.

Troughs of concealed lighting illuminate the auditorium and ribs of plaster stretched from the projection box at the rear of the circle, down the centre of the ceiling to the proscenium arch, forming a stylised strip of film, which also contains lighting.

The Odeon was tripled from 26th May 1974, creating a 436 seat screen in the former circle which uses the original projection box and proscenium opening, and two screens under the circle in the rear stalls area with seating for 171 and 169. The front stalls area is un-used.

The Odeon Muswell Hill was given Listed Grade II status from 6th March 1984 and has since been raised to a Grade II* Listed building. It remains open and is a popular cinema serving the local community of this North London suburb, despite opposition from nearby multiplexes in Wood Green.

In April 2015 it was announced that the Everyman Cinemas chain were purchasing four Odeon’s: Muswell Hill, Gerrards Cross, Barnet and Esher. It was closed in June 2015 for refurbishment and re-opened 10th July 2015. Seating is now provided for 410 in Screen 1 (former circle), 169 in screen 2 and 167 in screen 3.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on May 7, 2013 at 12:46 pm

A wonderful surviver. A close friend and colleague of mine, Steve Gaunt, was the Odeon’s manager from 1970. On my first visit, all three lighting coves on the splay walls were in use and each had coloured bulbs – one had red bulbs, one blue and one green. Now coloured bulbs in blue and green provide a poor, greyish light, unlike colour filters. I got Steve to order sufficient bulbs in pink and amber and later, the projectionists were only too happy to replace the green and blue versions. The result was a brighter and warmer glow nearest the proscenium, a golden amber glow in the middle section and the original red nearest the balcony. The vertical glow was slightly shorter in each cove with the highest being that closest to the proscenium. The curtains at that time were plain, brown velvet so, using newly ordered Cinemoid colour gel, we replaced the blue and green circuits with deep golden amber and magenta. Leaving the red circuit alone, the new colours were far more effective on the non-reflective tabs. I was especially gratified when the tabs were briefly closed between the trailers and the main feature at every performance and the projectionists invariably just brought up the magenta footlights; in an otherwise darkened auditorium the moving tabs looked very opulent.

davepring
davepring on March 17, 2014 at 4:11 am

this is my favourite Odeon…I just wish that the stalls void was reused in a similar vein to the Rex Berkhamstead

ReviewofCinemas
ReviewofCinemas on August 31, 2014 at 5:43 am

I visited yesterday and was appalled to see the stalls now being used to store general junk. There was even an old coffee machine on its side and on view to anyone in the circle who cared to look.

The stalls could easily seat 100 or more still – despite the rear being closed off. Why doesn’t Odeon ever use any imagination with their old buildings? Seeing films in Screen 1 could really be made an event if anybody had any enthusiasm to do so. Can’t Odeon learn from success stories like the Regal in Evesham, the Rex and the Ritzy in Brixton. Odeon seems under the impression that it can only cater for the IMAX enthusiasts or nothing.

People will pay money to see films in special places IF they are cared for with enthusiasm and marketed with some degree of imagination.

davepring
davepring on May 9, 2015 at 4:52 am

Well with a bit of luck this cinema will return to its former glory as Everyman Cinemas is planning to buy it along with 3 other Odeon properties and spend a significant amount on the refurb.

terry
terry on May 9, 2015 at 6:25 am

I quite agree that the circuits should ‘take a leaf out of the book’ of venues such as those mentioned but the USA influenced consortia who run the likes of Odeon would, no doubt, consider themselves to be above doing this and will therefore continue to disregard good taste………..

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on June 21, 2015 at 5:05 am

Will Everyman leave the former balcony alone or wish to further subdivide at the expense of the surviving 1936 interior scheme? Alternative/art house programming is going to be difficult with around 500 hundred seats and the enterprising Phoenix, East Finchley just over a mile away. If the former balcony is to be left unspoilt, Everyman might have to partially abandon their mission and be unable to resist the Bonds, Star Wars and Harry Potters of this world when they come along. I also wonder how many residents of N10 will ever call the building anything but Odeon.

I wish the outstanding cinema and its new owners well.

davepring
davepring on June 21, 2015 at 5:28 am

My guess is that the balcony will be re configured to provide around 300 seats and the stalls will be reinstated possibly with a bar at the rear along the lines of The Screen on the Green with table seating in the remainder of the stalls, with the two screens beneath the cirlce being upgraded to luxury boutique cinemas enabling a variety of programming.Everyman have not tampered with their cinema in Oxted and I think they will do an excellent job on the Muswell Hill site.

davepring
davepring on June 22, 2015 at 6:37 am

This cinema has now closed as an Odeon and will reopen as Everyman once it has been refurbished

pnelson
pnelson on June 22, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Beautiful art deco moderne theatre. Timeless and less is more.

davepring
davepring on July 11, 2015 at 3:14 am

Now open again with a pop up bar!!

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