Odeon Hendon

48 Church Road,
London, NW4 4EW

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SJT on January 10, 2017 at 10:05 pm

After years of trying to track down a picture of the interior, I finally find one which ought to have been freely available – it’s one of Maltby’s pictures – but oddly doesn’t feature in the otherwise complete national archive collection of his work. Never mind: it’s now in the photo section above, so have a good long wander down memory lane….

damiano on September 23, 2016 at 10:56 pm

Hi all and blencowee in particular. My mother (Mary O'Toole) also used to work there. I used to go there after school and the projectionists became unofficial child minders. I would sit in the projectionists room and watch the movies through a small window they had. I had to keep it quiet if it wasn’t a movie for children, otherwise someone would be in trouble! (not me). I remember John Cross, and the name Mrs Mills. Ken was one of the projectionists I’m sure. He was a kind soul. And yes I vaguely recall the story of a ghost. We also had a run of the whole place. We would go up to the Circle when it wasn’t open. I remember a compliant about us laughing and joking during the movies if we were in Circle (we were kids). Saturday morning was the ‘Saturday morning picture show’ which was great entertainment for us kids. I remember the rabbit warren corridors and stairs in the non public areas. Toya Wilcox used to live in hendon, so maybe its true. Happy memories. I hope blencowee that you to read this!

FanaticalAboutOdeon on December 20, 2015 at 7:59 am

The capacity at the time of opening was 1,362 (Stalls 868, Circle 494). SJT, there is a fine shot of the auditorium in “ODEON”, published by the erstwhile Mercia Cinema Society and edited by Rosemary Clegg (ISBN 0 946406 09 X). The reproduced photograph is one of the “definitive” views taken by John Maltby Ltd., the Birmingham-based photographers commissioned by Odeon Theatres to photograph the exteriors and interiors of their cinemas on, or as near as possible to, the day they opened. The interior appears less plain than many earlier Odeons though incorporating features typical of Harry Weedon’s practice. The grand, pendant light fittings are reminiscent of those at Blackpool while the dado design on the side wall of the circle curves downwards every few rows towards the beginnings of the splay walls is not unlike Leicester Square’s surviving pattern. The splay wall treatment is quite rich and incorporates, at its base, a series of overlapping circles making quite aesthetic grillework to conceal the plenum intake/extract filters. The proscenium was already very wide (virtually level with the front stalls exit doors) and the house, or front, curtains were side opening but with a handsome design featuring large swags of a contrasting fabric. If I have a criticism of such a good looking interior, it is that the octagonal “Odeon clocks” were sited much too near the screen, being within inches of the proscenium and rather low down, as at Muswell Hill.
Overall, to my eyes, a more opulent auditorium than many original Odeons – especially for a suburban example.

ArtDirector on June 22, 2014 at 5:03 pm

This cinema boasted of its original art deco furniture in its circle lounge into the 1970s. The proscenium arch looked as though it had been altered as the plaster did not match, as though it had been reduced in height to accommodate Cinemascope. It had double doors in veneered dark wood with window openings with the squared-off Odeon ‘O’ in each door. It had a good feel to it as a cinema and it is sad that it closed, probably when the lease on the land was up.

blencowee on August 8, 2012 at 4:15 am

I have so many wonderful memories of this place, I walked past everyday on my way to school my mother worked there for many years and as a child I spent every weekend at the Saturday morning pictures. Mr John Cross the manager was there for years and he was still in post when they closed it down he always let me and my friends in for free and I spent most of the summer holidays playing with his step daughter Gail Harding we had the run of the entire building and we would spend hours watching T.V up in the very top of the cinema in a special room that looked out over the Quadrant. They say that this Cinema was hunted by an old camera man named George I think. The manageress was Mrs Mills and the caretaker was called Ken Brain. I wish I could find Gail we lost touch many years ago she was my best pal at the time. I loved the Oden and was very sad when they knocked it down I seem to remember that Toya Wilcox the singer wanted to buy it and have it as her home, that might just be an urban myth though. Thanks for posting this on here the photo made me smile.

PeterBradshaw on October 16, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I have very happy memories of this cinema when I was growing up! I vividly remember watching John Huston’s The Man Who Would Be King there!

SJT on June 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm

There most certainly was a Circle! I sat there often enough (and indeed had several formative encounters there unrelated to film) It must have seated between 400-500, the rest being in the Stalls (around 800)the back of which had a semi-occluded view of the whole enormous screen because of the overhang. If you look at any of the surviving photos of what was a large building http://www.mawgrim.co.uk/cavalcade/hendon2.jpg you will see that it was very high, with an giant tea-rooms/restaurant behind the windows on the first floor, which backed on to the Circle entrance through a single, central door. As far as I know, right to the end it retained its original, multi-drop curtains: and the decor was pure Art Deco. Do any interior shots exist?


orpheum on May 21, 2010 at 11:01 am

Again i was present at its closure.This was a cinema with a very attractive interior.there was no circle.With a very small car park,it wa s very difficult to park nearby.Rarely attracted big audiences.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 29, 2006 at 11:57 am

A set of vintage photographs of the Odeon Hendon:
Exterior by day in September 1949
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A day-time close-up of the entrance in August 1950
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The exterior photographed at dusk in August 1950
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A night view in August 1950
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A night view from a different angle in August 1950
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Close-up of the entrance at night in December 1950
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Exterior by day in July 1951
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