Odeon Hounslow West
8 Cavendish Parade, Bath Road,
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Architects: Major William James King
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Ambassador Cinema
Located opposite Hounslow West Tube (underground) rail station in Hounslow, Middlesex, today part of west Greater London. The Ambassador Cinema was a project of London & Southern Super Cinemas Ltd. chain of which the architect Major W. J. King was a director. It opened on 7th September 1936 with Walter Huston in “Rhodes of Africa” and Otto Kruger in “Living Dangerously”.
Externally the Ambassador Cinema was similar to several other cinemas designed by Major W.J. King and had a square tower feature over the main entrance. The interior was in an Art Deco style and was equipped with a Compton 3Manual/8Rank theatre organ with melotone attachment and an illuminated console. This was opened by Edgar Peto. The cinema also had a cafe which had a garden.
It was taken over by the Oscar Deutsch chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. in July 1937 and re-named Odeon from 16th April 1945. From time to time it was advertised as the Odeon Hounslow West.
It was converted into a triple cinema from 16th June 1974 when there were 490 seats in the former balcony and two screens in the rear stalls which each had a seating capacity of 114.
The Compton organ was retained for concerts which proved popular and the instrument was re-furbished in 1977. Unfortunately the Odeon was closed on 7th January 1984 with “Jungle Book”, “Krull”, and “Never Say Never Again” being the final films.
The organ was rescued from the building to be relocated, as the auditorium was demolished within a week of closure. The frontage of the building was retained and shops, a restaurant and a Gateway supermarket were built on the site. Today it is a Somerfield supermarket.
As a footnote: The Compton organ was placed in storage for many years. It has now been fully restored and has been installed in the foyer of the 6-screen Movieland, Newtownards, Northern Ireland.
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