Odeon Dudley

22 Castle Hill,
Dudley, DY1 4QQ

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Odeon Dudley

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Odeon Theatre was built for and operated by Oscar Deutsch’s chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. It opened on 28th July 1937 with Merle Oberon in “Beloved Enemy”. Designed by architect Harry Weedon who was assisted by Budge Reid from the architectural firm Harry Weedon Partnership.

It is designed in an Art Deco design typical of Odeon Theatres being built at that time. The auditorium was illuminated by deeply curved plaster troughs which cross the ceiling and extend onto the sidewalls, each one containing concealed lighting. Seating was provided for 1,234 in the stalls and 642 in the balcony.

The Odeon led an uneventful life, becoming part of the Rank Organisation when J. Arthur Rank took over Odeon Theatre’s.

It closed on 22nd February 1975 with Ron Moody in “Oliver” and the Rank release films were transfered to the Plaza Cinema across the road.

The Odeon was sold to the International Bible Students Association. By 1977 it was in use as a church. The current occupants Jehovah’s Witnesses carried out a major refurbishment of the building which they now use as an Assembly Hall.

In October 2000, the former Odeon was designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 11, 2006 at 2:05 pm

Two exterior photographs of the Odeon Dudley taken in October 1949:
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A close up view taken in 1969:
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woody
woody on January 11, 2006 at 3:10 pm

Heres another view, showing how little the building has changed, taken around 1991 when I was a manager at the nearby UCI multiplex
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HornerJack
HornerJack on January 12, 2006 at 4:01 am

Ken Roe – Thanks for adding these cinemas. This Odeon looks like a great venue. The exterior Art Deco design is fine in its understatement. Churches are great tenants for old cinema treasures. Ironic that in the old days, movie theaters were a target for many Christian denominations!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 22, 2006 at 12:12 pm

Here is an October 1965 photograph I took while I was the Assistant Manager of the Odeon. “The Guns of Navarone” was the film playing that week:
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bluejuice
bluejuice on February 18, 2006 at 5:08 pm

hi
i am researching my family history, and i have found out that my great grandfather george albert richardson was the manager of an odeon cinema in the birmingham area around the 1930’s i would love to see it but i am having troble fing out which one i suspect it may be dudley does anyone know how i might find out for sure . many thanks

Ian
Ian on January 1, 2007 at 7:03 am

Another shot of the exterior, this time from 1995:–

http://flickr.com/photos/12494104@N00/339681349/

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 22, 2008 at 11:36 pm

A photograph from October 2007:
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SteveSidaway
SteveSidaway on February 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm

I remember going to the closing night, the poor usherettes were all in tears…!

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