Odeon Perry Barr
271 Birchfield Road,
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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.
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.
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