Odeon Blackpool

5 Dickson Road,
Blackpool, FY1 2AX

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Odeon Blackpool

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This was the largest of the original Oscar Deutsch built Odeon Theatres, seating 1,684 in the stalls and 1,404 in the balcony. The Odeon opened on 6th May 1939 with “Three Smart Girls Grow Up” starring Deanna Durbin. The main facade and entrance is on Dickson Road but a second entrance for front stalls patrons was provided on Springfield Road. Provision was also made for an organ but this was not installed until 1946, when a Conacher 4Manual/12Ranks with grand piano was installed and opened by Al Bollington.

The Odeon was triplexed in 1975 with the two smaller screens 2 and 3 contained completely within the the under-balcony area of the rear stalls. This meant that from the balcony located screen 1 there was no visible change to the auditorium. Even the wonderful Art Deco style lights remained in full working order until the day of closure. The spacious cafe at first floor level was converted into an equally spacious bar.

Even towards the end of its cinema life it was possible to fill the 1,300 seat (former circle) screen 1 (“Titanic” had especially large queues forming and extra performances added).

Odeon built a new multiplex on the outer fringe of Blackpool, and this original Odeon building was closed in 1998. It was neglected and left in a rather poor state of disrepair.

It was boarded up for several years until it was acquired by Basil Newby who converted the former circle into a gay nightclub;Flamingo’s, a gay bar in the former circle foyer and Funny Girls; a drag-cabaret theatre in the former stalls area.

The Odeon is a Grade II Listed building.

Contributed by Ian Grundy, Daniel Jones

Recent comments (view all 33 comments)

Ian
Ian on December 31, 2007 at 5:31 pm

Three more interior images before the Odeon closed here:–

View link

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AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on December 31, 2007 at 6:53 pm

So much of this still intact its amazing! Great pics Ian, thanks again!

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm

More photos can be seen here.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 5, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Here is a photo from around 1969?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 6, 2010 at 8:44 pm

The Odeon, photographed in 1985:
View link

Ian
Ian on July 12, 2010 at 9:04 am

A couple more digitally scanned images from 1992 when it was still operating as a cinema:–

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stagedoor/4785403225/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stagedoor/4786035962/

rasLXR
rasLXR on April 4, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Should this not be listed as Odeon and closed. I understood CT policy is to list the last name at the time it closed as a cinema, the Tivoli is not listed as Yates wine bar. Researchers using this site would not find the Odeon unless they were aware its no longer a cinema and is now night club many cinemas on CT that are night clubs now but listed as the cinema name at the time they closed. At the moment its listed as a cinema with 3 screens called Funny Girls. R

FarleyFlavors
FarleyFlavors on August 10, 2012 at 11:19 am

RasLXR has a good point – this listing needs to be corrected. The building now houses a nightclub and cabaret called Funny Girls. It has never screened films under this name. It should be listed under “Odeon” and “Closed”.

MikeJC
MikeJC on September 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm

From a photograph I am looking at as I write this, the Conacher organ in Blackpool Odeon actually had four manuals rather than two and it was also equipped with an incredibly ugly (well, to my mind) “batwing” illuminated surround. As already stated, the instrument was transferred from the Ritz Southend in 1946. Rumour has it that originally, a large 5 manual Compton organ had been ordered (shades of Leicester Square here?)and would have been installed towards the end of 1939 (thinks: were Comptons way behind with their workload here?). Apparently this mighty instrument had been dispatched by rail from London to Blackpool via Manchester, but whilst the train was left overnight in a goods yard, there was an air raid which destroyed both train and organ. Looking at the discrepancy in the dates, it does seem a little far-fetched and perhaps someone better informed than I would care to comment on this.

Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on November 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Have load at picture of the New sales Kiosk of 1953

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