Odeon Epsom

114-116 High Street,
Epsom, KT19 8BT

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Odeon Epsom

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Built for and operated by the Oscar Deutsch chain;Odeon Theatres Ltd, the Odeon opened on 19th April 1937 with Merle Oberon in “Beloved Enemy”. Comedy stars Tom Walls and Ralph Lynn were two celebrities who appeared on stage to open the cinema.

The exterior of the building had a square tower to the right of the entrance and due to the local Council insisting on the streetscape of the design (would not allow the usual Odeon creme faiance tiles), the entire facade was of narrow bricks and stone dressings. The auditorium was in a typical Art Deco style (attributed to Winifred Evans) which consisted of troughs in the ceiling containing concealed lighting. Seating was provided for 1,016 in the stalls and 418 in the balcony.

The Odeon gave good service in this rather up-market location but by 1961 audiences were dwindling and from 1st October 1961 the game of Bingo was introduced in the afternoons, replacing the usual matinee film performance. Bingo was not a hit in Epsom and the venture failed after 13 weeks and full film presentation resumed.

The Odeon closed on 19th June 1971 with Candice Bergen and Peter Strauss in “Soldier Blue”. Within a month the building had been sold to a property developer and it was demolished a few months later and a Sainsbury supermarket was built on the site. Today, Sainbury’s have moved to a larger new store and another new building has been errected on the old Odeon site.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 19, 2005 at 12:37 am

An exterior photograph of the Odeon, taken in October 1949:
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In the Summer of 1971, a few weeks before closing:
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Johnllon on December 24, 2005 at 8:43 am

I was told by a projectionist who worked at Richmond Odeon in 1964 that the Odeon Epsom, which was very close to an electric railway line, had an alternative power supply from the railways supply. So in case of a “town” electricity failure, the cinema had the railway as a secondary supply.
Never went to that cinema but certainly drove past and saw it in days of old.


exciterlamp on May 23, 2006 at 5:28 am

Epsom now boasts (if that is the right word) a new 8 screen soulless and sterile Odeon multiplex. The two identical operating boxes, situated one above the other and each serving four screens, consist of even more mind-numbing expanses of plain plastered walls. For someone like me – a film fan of some 55 years, who has projected films of all gauges from 8mm to 35mm for over 40 years – one visit was more than enough.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 26, 2010 at 5:44 am

A vintage photograph of the Odeon, soon after its 1937 opening:
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stevev on March 22, 2018 at 3:17 am

It was at the Old ODEON Epsom where I first started my career in the film industry as a trainee projectionist after leaving school in 1963. 10 months later I left to join the projection team at the Granada North Cheam as it was closer to my home and provided day release to Wandsworth Tech College as part of the deal. 3.5 years after that I left to join BBC TV. And yes it was true that there was an emergency connection to the railway electricity supply but it was never used while I was working there.

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