Odeon Marble Arch

10 Edgware Road,
London, W2 2EN

Unfavorite 16 people favorited this theater

Odeon Marble Arch

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Odeon Marble Arch opened on 2nd February 1967 with Zero Mostel in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”. This was a lavish (for the time) replacement of the previous magnificent Atmospheric style Regal/Odeon on the same site. It had a massive curved screen (75 feet wide x 30 feet high) and seeing a 70mm print here was stunning. The original seating capacity was for 1,360 in stalls and circle levels.

The new Marble Arch Odeon was part of a much larger development on the site which included shops and an office tower.

The auditorium was at first floor level with retail outlets occuping the ground floor. The walls were open panels with curtaining behind lit in different colours. On October 16, 1967 the Royal World Premiere of “Far from the Madding Crowd” was attended by HRH Princes Margaret.

Sadly, the Odeon closed rather suddenly in September 1996 and the auditorium was carved up into five small screens. Screen 1 is the front stalls area with 254 seats, 2 (119 seats) and 3 (173 seats) are the former rear stalls under the balcony, whilst 4 and 5 are in the balcony with 229 and 239 seats respectively which gives a current total seating capacity, + wheelchair space of 1,014.

It was a victim of being just outside the West End area and consequently this very fine cinema has, for all intents and purposes, been effectively ruined.

In November 2014 plans were proposed to demolish the cinema and its adjoining office block. These were approved in early-2016, and the Odeon was closed quietly without any announcement in early-May 2016. Plans approved are to build a new 6-screen basement cinema in the new building on the site. Demolition of the office and retail portion of the building began in late-May 2016.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 64 comments)

drguywalker
drguywalker on December 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Lavish ‘for the time?’ This was the uk’s biggest post war cinema and technically highly advanced in design and construction. True, it didn’t have any fake Roman urns and other chintzy set dressing…instead it bore a striking resemblance to the Bauhaus building!

CF100
CF100 on March 26, 2015 at 11:25 am

More details on this replacement scheme from this public exhibition blurb:

http://www.marblearchtower.co.uk/consultation-boards_2014_1027.pdf

A replacement basement cinema is shown. The purposed quasi-“pastiche”/postmodern (or whatever—“carbuncle-style” will do ;–) ) exterior design, IMO, is hideous.

CF100
CF100 on May 30, 2015 at 5:07 pm

JD Wetherspoon (operators of The Twyburn pub, within the same complex as the Odeon Marble Arch) have received permission for outdoor seating until February 2016, so it may be assumed the existent Odeon Marble Arch will stand until at least then…

The developer has submitted a planning application dated November 2014, which is pending a decision. Perhaps surprisingly, 6 screens, albeit 5 of which appear to be “studio” size, are shown in the drawing for basement level 1. The proposed entrance is on Edgware Road with access via escalators.

geoffmee1
geoffmee1 on May 9, 2016 at 3:13 am

NOTE : Apparently without publicity or fanfare, Odeon Marble Arch has closed its doors for the final time. The redevelopment referred to did gain planning permission, and one assumes that demolition is not far off now.

Harkness
Harkness on May 21, 2016 at 9:02 am

Really sorry to see that this cinema has closed, having spent many a happy hour working changing the screen and altering the curtain track and frame before they ruined it by chopping it into five screens, another real cinema bites the dust.

CF100
CF100 on August 3, 2016 at 11:32 am

According to http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/05/23/demolition-starts-for-400m-marble-arch-place/ demolition has started. However, the developer states that their replacement scheme will “include a relocated Odeon.”

A shame for what was once one of the very finest cinemas in the country.

davepring
davepring on August 3, 2016 at 2:32 pm

Odeon give no regard for their older traditional cinemas. I only hope that AMC will invest in the flagship Leicester Square site….the loss of Marble Arch was appalling as a magnificent single screen venue

CF100
CF100 on August 3, 2016 at 3:11 pm

Or perhaps AMC’s Chinese owners will have other ideas… :–(

SethLewis
SethLewis on August 16, 2016 at 2:13 am

A shame but the old Marble Arch was very hard to book as a single screen from the 80’s onwards and the latest incarnation was a bit of a mess…tight stadium seating that was never comfortable…Speed 2…The Full Monty…The Tailor of Panama so you can tell when the last times I was there

Odeon did a pretty good job sorting itself out to be sold from a service perspective hopefully new owners will leave it alone Basements may be the best we can hope for and take perspective that the Kingston plex is essentially downstairs and very good

RIP Odeon Marble Arch as we knew it

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater