Odeon Cosham

15 High Street,
Cosham, PO6 3BU

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Odeon Cosham

Built for the Independent circuit London and County Cinemas Ltd, the Ambassador Cinema opened on 8th March 1937 with Tom Walls in “Dishonour Bright”. Well known British film star Will Hay made a personal appearance at the opening.

The Abmassador was designed in a smart Art Deco style with seating provided for 1,124 in the stalls and 521 in the balcony level. It was equipped with a Compton 3Manual/8Rank theatre organ with Grand Piano that was opened by Thomas Grosch. The organ chambers were above the proscenium. Other facilities in the building were a tea lounge that had a sprung dance floor.

Within months of opening the Ambassador was taken over by the Oscar Deutsch chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd from July 1937. It was re-named Odeon from 30th April 1945.

The Odeon closed on 3rd July 1976 and was converted into a Top Rank Bingo Club. Today it still operates as a bingo hall operated by the Independent chain of Crown Bingo Clubs.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 22, 2005 at 8:29 am

A close-up view of the entrance to the Odeon in Autumn 1949:
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A full view of the facade of the Odeon in late-Spring 1956:
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A close-up view of the entrance in Summer 1971:
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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 22, 2005 at 8:32 am

OOoops – Sorry, here is that Summer 1971 link again:
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Ian on May 6, 2006 at 6:26 am

More pics – inside and out dating from 1986

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paul_bennett89 on February 26, 2016 at 10:27 am

Does anyone know of any of the staff who worked at the ODEON, Cosham, when it closed in the 1970s. I am researching the lost Portsmouth film “Beginning at the Centre” (1948, director Laurie Upton). Laurie Upton wrote that a German TV company screened “Beginning at the Centre” at the ODEON. They used the film for a TV documentary. I am hoping the someone from the ODEON at the time can remember this screening, which had to be a very unique event. Possibly someone can remember any people from the German TV company, who must have made copies of the film. The film “Beginning at the Centre” is lost in its original version. I have spent 2 years searching for it as my mother was an actress in the film. I found a partial copy which can be seen here: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/what-s-on/cinema/finding-the-lost-film-of-twyford-community-centre-1-6918713

Gomp on September 14, 2016 at 3:17 am

Hello paul_bennet89. I’ve only just come across your post. My late father Fred “Gomp” Gompertz was theatre manager at the Odeon Cosham from @ 1962 until he retired from Cosham in 1972.For the life of me I cannot remember any of the staff, so cannot help beyond this little nugget. Dad died in 2012. All the best with your research, Keith Gompertz

Drood on November 3, 2016 at 6:08 pm

Worked there after it became Crown Bingo. I used to love heading up into the old projection room, which leads me to this…

There was a story that did the rounds regularly that on the last day of showing movies, the projectionist hung himself in the projection room. Can anyone confirm or (most likely I expect) deny this?

This of course was accompanied by a ghost story and that they haunted the upper regions of the building. All I know is it was VERY cold and creepy up there, any time of year.

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