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The second cinema in Taunton to bear the name Odeon was initially opened as the Gaumont Palace Theatre on 11th July 1932 with Renate Muller in “Sunshine Susie”. It was built for Albany Ward, a division of Gaumont British Theatres. It featured a restaurant at first floor level above the main foyer, which had decorative freizes of birds and flowers painted by artist Frank Barnes. In the auditorium, the decoration was elaborate with shell-like wall sconces and a highly decorated ceiling panel. The proscenium was 50 feet wide and the stage was 74 feet wide, and 21 feet deep. There were eight dressing rooms.
It was renamed Odeon in 1969, and was closed by the Rank Organisation on 5th September 1981.
From November 1981 it was converted into a Top Rank Bingo Club, which later became a Mecca Bingo Club. The former projection box has been converted into offices, but the auditorium and foyers remains pretty well intact. It also retains many of it’s external features, the canopy has been enclosed in light blue metal cladding.
The former Gaumont Palace is a Grade II Listed building.
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