Odeon Canterbury

43-45 St. George's Place,
Canterbury, CT1 1UP

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Built for and opened by the County Cinemas chain as the Regal Cinema, it opened on 5th August 1933 (the same date as the city’s new Friars Theatre opened, later to become the Odeon). The opening film was Jack Hulbert in “Falling For You”. The Regal Cinema had a seating capacity of 1,750 in stalls and circle levels. It was equipped with a Compton 3Manual/9Rank organ which was opened by Reginald Foort. There was also a ballroom and a cafe for the convenience of patrons.

County Cinemas relinquished the building on 4th April 1935 and it was taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) from 29th April 1935. The Regal Cinema was closed on 31st October 1942 due to bomb damage and re-opened in February 1943. It was re-named ABC from August 1963.

Closed on 5th August 1972 for twinning into a cinema bingo operation. The former stalls became a bingo hall with a 536 seat ABC cinema in the former balcony which re-opened on 26th October 1972.

Later re-named Cannon Cinema, the stalls bingo was converted back into cinema use to become Cannon screen 2 from 5th August 1988. Later takeovers have seen name changes to MGM Cinema, back to ABC Cinema and currently Odeon Cinema, with the screens now seating 494 and 381.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 19, 2006 at 5:48 am

The opening programme at the Regal Cinema was Jack Hulbert & Cecily Courtneidge in “Falling for You”. The cinema was equipped with a cafe and ballroom (this section of the building was destroyed by bombing and was never re-built).

In the auditorium there was a Compton 3Manual/9Rank theatre organ with illuminated console that was opened by Reginald Foort.

Ian on February 5, 2008 at 7:37 am

Photo from 1988 as the Cannon here:

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RHScottSpencer on March 17, 2013 at 9:26 am

This cinema was the first one I ever worked at and was paid to do so, I was in the army at the time and did the odd evening and weekend. At the time it was the ABC cinema and had only 1 screen. I also did the odd evening and weekend at the Odeon which was further down the road at the time.

Buffer on February 8, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Interior showing the organ was taken before the Regal was twinned. Barleycorn d├ęcor above old screen level retained in screen 1

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