Odeon Pennine Derby

Colyear Street,
Derby, DE1 1LA

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Odeon Pennine Derby

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The Superama Cinema was the last purpose built single screen to open in Derby. It was a project of the Compton Cinema Group who were well known in the central London area as being producers and exhibitors of soft core and semi-hard core Continental sex films. The Derby Superama Cinema was the 2nd luxury ‘roadshow’ cinema they had opened (the 1st was the Scala Superama Cinema in Birmingham in 1965) in a bid to obtain respectability in the cinema business.

The Superama Cinema opened on 9th February 1967 with Charlton Heston in “Khartoum”, which was presented in 70mm as a roadshow engagement. The cinema entrance was located at street level with the single floor steeply raked auditorium hidden beneath the newly built Pennine Hotel which was operated by the Rank Organisation and adjacent to the a newly built Top Rank Bowl.

The architect of the cinema was John Ambrose of the firm Julian Keable and Partners. It was a truly luxurious cinema, with stadium seating, curtained walls which were illuminated by downlighting all around the edge of the ceiling in changing coloured lights. There was a massive curved screen, which proved ideal for the ‘roadshow’ blockbusters that were to be played there and numerous speakers around the walls which gave the stereo and surround sound of the day. There was an advance booking system and the cinema also had a licenced bar.

“The Sound of Music” played for 26 weeks, an unheard of length of time for a Derby cinema, but because Compton were an independent exhiibitor, they found it difficult to obtain films to play whenever audiences started to wane on a long running film.

From 22nd February 1970 the Superama was taken over by the Rank Organisation and re-named Odeon Pennine. However they tripled the Odeon (former Gaumont) London Road in December 1974 and this made the Odeon Pennine surplus to requirements. It closed on 31st October 1975 with Roger Daltry and Oliver Reed in “Tommy”.

After closure the auditorium was stripped out and re-floored and has had several ownerships and names as disco and nightclub use. It has been Sadies Discotheque, Molly Magoos, Brannigan’s, Destiny and Elite. Currently part of the building is Heroes 2 wine bar.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 6, 2005 at 1:36 pm

An exterior photograph of the Odeon Pennine in 1971:
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Ian
Ian on May 10, 2007 at 11:07 pm

A recent (May 2007) shot of the former Odeon Pennine:–

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mik32b
mik32b on February 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I remember this cinema with great affection.It really was luxurious.I watched the Sound of Music at least four times,the screen and sound system was second to none,the seating was so comfortable,you could almost imagine you were sat in an armchair.I’m in my late fifties now and have very fond memories of Derbys cinemas notably the Gaumont on London road,Art-deco at it’s finest.Also the A.B.C cinema in East street.I live abroad now,but am occasionally in Derby(My place of birth).I like to go on a nostalgia trip,and get a warm glow,reliving my cinema past!What joy! Mikob.

DavidSimpson
DavidSimpson on August 26, 2013 at 8:32 am

In August 2013 it was occupied by a club called Redemption.

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