Cineworld Cinema - Bromley

242 High Street,
Bromley, BR1 1PG

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Cineworld Cinema - Bromley

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Odeon Theatre, Bromley, Kent, was one of the original Oscar Deutsch Odeon Theatres and opened on 21st September 1936 with Max Miller in “Educated Evans”.

Designed by prolific and noted cinema architect George Coles in an Art Deco/Art Moderne style, the narrow frontage on the main High Street consisted of a deeply curved recess which was flanked by rounded wings and an outwardly curving canopy that had the Odeon name sign mounted on top of it. Seating in the auditorium was provided for 1,492; with 1,018 in the stalls and 474 in the circle. The decoration in the auditorium was rather plain and had wavey bands along the side walls.

The Odeon was tripled in April 1976 with the circle extended forward to seat 760 and two smaller screens seating 125 and 116 located in the former rear stalls. In 1988 the Odeon closed for major re-configuration of the screens. The former circle was split into two screens, the front part became Screen 4 and the rear part became Screen 1. The two mini’s in the rear stalls remained as Screens 2 & 3.

All screens were re-furbished in 2001 and the Odeon, Bromley serves as a first run cinema in what today is in reality a location in Southeast outer Greater London.

In 2006 it was taken over by Empire Cinemas Ltd. and re-named Empire. Seating capacities in the screens are: 1. 387, 2. 119, 3. 105 and 4. 215.

In July 2016 it was one of five Empire cinemas taken over by the Cineworld chain. The other four were the Empire Leicester Square, London, Basildon, Hemel Hempstead and Poole. The Empire Bromley will be re-named as a Picturehouse cinema and two additional screens added.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 13, 2005 at 5:04 am

A close-up photograph of the facade taken in 1971:
View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 24, 2005 at 6:46 am

Two 2003 exterior photographs showing the current signage on the Odeon Bromley:
http://www.cinephoto.co.uk/odeon_bromley.htm

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 18, 2006 at 11:47 pm

As from April 2006, the Odeon Bromley was one of several cinemas taken over by the Irish Based exhibitor Ward-Anderson and is now known as the Empire Cinema.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on September 3, 2016 at 3:06 pm

Now operated by Cineworld.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on August 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Planning application (ref 17/03758/FULL1) submitted to remodel and extend as Bromley Picturehouse including a roof extension to the front with a new screen, and the former Odeon call centre at the rear converted to a cafe/bar with 84 covers with another screen sitting on top. Screens 2 and 3 will received curved, stepped seating and larger screens, and screen 1 will have new wooden stepping built over the existing concrete to increase legroom.

According to the heritage statement it seems the interior and exterior will be substantially restored to more closely resemble the original design:

“The exisiting building is Locally Listed and, the frontage in particular, in a substantial state of disrepair. The proposed development will maintain and restore the prominent features of the High Street elevation, refurbishing the existing faience frontage, reinstating the original rounded wings to the facade, replacing the existing front doors, and replacing the existing canopy with a slimmer, outward curving canopy as per the original design.

Additionally, the application proposes the restoration of prominent architectural features internally, including distinctive ceiling and wall features throughout the foyers and main auditoria."

New seating capacities: Screen 1: 324 seats + 4 wheelchair Screen 2: 92 seats + 1 wheelchair Screen 3: 80 seats + 1 wheelchair Screen 4: 263 seats Screen 5 (above cafe): 87 seats + 1 disabled Screen 6 (above entrance): 70 seats

Plans are by Earle Architects.

CF100
CF100 on September 4, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Thanks Zappomatic, nice summary—I’d just found the plans for myself but I’d missed some of the detail you’ve picked up on.

The facade is a dreadful state and I had no idea that so much had been lost of the original.

(Original facade shown on p14 of the Design & Access Statement.)

The rendering of the ‘restored’ facade looks like a massive improvement!

I haven’t been to any of the auditoria in a very long time, but from memory, they will have their work cut out to do a good selective ‘restoration’ and will also need to improve control over the acoustics.

I imagine that plans for a ‘boutique’ cinema built on top of the nearby ‘The Glades’ regional shopping mall (also known as ‘intu Bromley’ for a few years) will now not be taken forward. Meanwhile, the £90m Bromley South Central development is under construction, to include a 9 screen Vue multiplex, with completion delayed and now slated for Spring 2018.

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