Odeon Perry Barr

271 Birchfield Road,
Perry Barr,
Birmingham, B20 3DD

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Odeon Cinema Perry Barr

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This was the first cinema in the United Kingdom to be called Odeon and was managed/operated by Oscar Deutsch who later founded his Odeon Theatres Ltd. chain in 1933.

Located in the Perry Barr district in the north of Birmingham. The Odeon Theatre, Perry Barr opened on 4th August 1930 with Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers in “Illusion” and Stewart Rome in “Dark Red Roses”. It was designed by architects Stanley A. Griffiths and Horace G. Bradley in a Moorish style both externally and internally. The facade was painted white and had rounded features that gave an impression of domes. Inside the auditorium seating was arranged for 1,160 in the stalls and 478 in the balcony. An unusual feature was that the stalls area widened out towards the proscenium. There were Moorish scenes painted on the side walls in the front stalls area. The Odeon became part of the Odeon circuit from 17th July 1935.

In 1953 the facade of the building was re-built in a plain design of bare brick. It was closed by the Rank Organisation on 3rd May 1969 with Dean Martin in “The Wrecking Crew”.

It re-opened on 14th August 1969 as a Top Rank Bingo Club which continued until closing on 19th February 1983. The building lay empty for a while until it was taken over by an independent bingo operator and was known as the Perry Bingo Club. Later taken over by Granada Bingo and lastly operated by Gala Bingo it finally closed on 5th April 1997. It remained empty for several more years until August 2002 when it was converted into the Royale Banqueting Suite used for banquests and receptions.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

KenRoe
KenRoe on March 18, 2006 at 10:14 am

The original facade as photographed in September 1949:
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Showing off its new facade in March 1953:
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Photographed in May 1956:
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AndrewHope
AndrewHope on March 14, 2007 at 4:41 pm

Back in the late 60’s I was a projectionist at this cinema, the chief was named Torrington I think, he was a real hard man to get along with, I left soon afterwards and worked at the Plaza, Stockland Green.
Thanks
Andrew Hope (Ontario, Canada)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 26, 2008 at 5:20 pm

Here are updated links for the three photos above:

Photo1

Photo2

Photo3

KenRoe
KenRoe on June 1, 2009 at 8:41 am

A vintage photograph of the Odeon in 1930, shortly after its opening:
View link

mikeya
mikeya on October 27, 2009 at 12:31 am

Another early shot taken around the time of opening in 1930

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Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on September 8, 2011 at 7:29 pm

If My memory is correct the theatre was hit by a bomb during the war. The luck thing was it did not explode. The person defusing the bomb was awarded a medal that allowed him to go free to any Odeon Cinema in the country somewhere in my files I have a picture of the interior which I shall post. when I find it

Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on November 11, 2011 at 8:15 am

I have loaded a picture of Oscar Deutsch The Founding Father of Odeon The counties Leading Brand in Cinemas

Robbie25646
Robbie25646 on August 13, 2013 at 9:01 am

I lived in great Barr and this along with the Beacon, The Clifton and the Birchfield were all my local cinemas, I loved visiting all of them

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