Scott Cinema

Penel Orlieu,
Bridgwater, TA6 3PH

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Exterior, July 2012

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened as the Odeon, one of the original Oscar Deutsch; Odeon Theatres Ltd chain. The opening date was 13th July 1936 with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in “The Amateur Gentleman”.

Architect T. Cecil Howitt again designed another striking Art Deco style cinema for the circuit. The corner entrance was dominated by a flat-topped tower, whch had a ‘roof’ supported by four short pillars on each side. There was a row of shops with flats above to the left of the entrance and these, together with the entrance tower were faced in cream faiance tiles.

Inside the auditorium the seating capacity of 1,525 was on a stadium plan with a raised area at the rear (the balcony didn’t overhang the stalls) and seating was provided for 931 in the front stalls and 594 in the raised balcony. The proscenium arch was wide and rectangular and had three coves surrounding it, which contained concealed lighting. There was also a shallow octagonal dome in the centre of the ceiling which had concealed lighting. There were stage facilities which were put to use on occasions by local dramatic companies. In the foyer was an attractive Art Deco stained glass window. The Odeon had an additional facility of a large car park for patrons.

The Odeon was was sold off to the Classic Cinemas chain and was re-named Classic from 10th December 1967. It was around this time that the ‘roof’ was removed on the flat-top tower, leaving just the supporting pillar stumps in place! Classic sub-divided the building in January 1973 and the front stalls became a bingo club, with the raised balcony area being walled off and divided into two 250 seat cinemas.

The Classic Cinemas were closed in March 1983 and lay empty for a while, until they were re-opened by an independent operator. The cinemas were re-named Film Centre and today are operated by Scott Cinemas and in around 2006 were re-named Scott Cinema. Mecca Bingo still operates in the former front stalls area.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 18, 2006 at 11:51 pm

A 1970’s exterior photograph of the Classic Cinema/Mecca Bingo from Richard Shaw:
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zac123999
zac123999 on July 20, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Bridgwater Cinema entrance foyer in its former glory

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CSWalczak
CSWalczak on October 31, 2012 at 1:02 am

An exterior picture of the theatre as the Odeon can be seen here and one of the original auditorium can be seen here.

MONS
MONS on August 8, 2014 at 8:25 am

Does any one know why the slate roof was removed

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