114-116 High Street,
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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.
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