Stephen Joseph Theatre

Westborough,
Scarborough, YO11 1JW

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Showing 1 - 25 of 26 comments

xkr
xkr on March 10, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Criminal, absolutely criminal. And these are the same jokers that have just closed the Futurist!

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on May 6, 2013 at 7:59 am

Whilst I agree that minis resulting from typical tripling have seldom, if ever, created what we would consider satisfactory cinemas, they have usually proved their worth with additional revenue prolonging the “parent” cinema’s life, albeit, as you say, not indefinitely. There were no plans to extend the large circle forward at Scarborough or utilise the front stalls. There were thoughts, as long ago as the ‘60s, of creating a cinema within the cafe area (which by then had become the rather tired Showbar)and we’ll never know whether a screen count of four would have enabled the Odeon to survive longer. Jim Whittell, then M.D. of Rank Leisure Services, persuaded the Board to go in for an “especially sensitive” tripling as he loved the Scarborough Odeon and was determined to stem the winter losses. I was Scarborough’s assistant/relief manager in the late 'sixties and it was something of a culture shock to be controlling queues and putting the “House Full” boards out quite regularly up until mid September and then find staff outnumbering patrons on some out-of-season days. Of course, some pre-release films and a Thursday start helped when Sunday start was the norm at provincial, non-resort cinemas, not to mention the vagaries of the English summer weather! In 1980 when Rank announced the closure of Muswell Hill, my late friend/colleague and former M.H. manager, Steve Gaunt, although having taken over the Odeon, Holloway, threatened to chain himself to the front doors! Although, mercifully, in the event, that didn’t become necessary. I’m surprised M.H. has lasted this long with just three screens, it may have a large catchment area but it also has other cinemas not very far away. York? Well what can I say? With a multiplex within two miles of York and a three screen Picture House operation in the city centre, one might have thought the Council would have encouraged the refurbishment Odeon wanted to do at the time but, instead, ignorance and intransigence won the day and the Odeon was lost. As with Scarborough, who knows how long the rebranded cinema would have survived but it would have been given a fighting chance. It’s now a dire Reel and, having known the York Odeon for over fifty years and having trained there in my management days, one visit to the Reel was quite enough. Guess nothing lasts forever.

Ian
Ian on May 6, 2013 at 1:17 am

Although, with the exception of Muswell Hill (surrounded by a much larger catchment area) and York almost all of the triplings resulted in further sub-division or closure in the 1990’s – and Odeon have tried on several occasions to destroy the impact of MH and exited York. The large balcony and front stalls auditorium could not have survived in Scarborough and the mini’s in the rear stalls would have been small and unsatisfactory.

Though I completely agree that this was one of the finest of the Odeon interiors and a sad loss when it was converted.

And don’t start me on the local council ……!

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on May 5, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Whilst the Odeon could take a fortune during Scarborough’s short summer seasons by the ‘80s, such a large, single screen cinema just wasn’t feasible in the resort and any “summer profit” would be overtaken by mounting winter losses. The Rank Group were prepared to undertake a more expensive-than-normal, drop wall tripling to provide two small cinemas in the rear stalls while preserving the entire auditorium above and in front of the balcony with all its plasterwork, lighting coves and screen within the original proscenium. The two extra screens enabling three choices of film could have much reduced the winter losses but the Council wouldn’t allow any changes whatsoever and Rank had to cut their losses. This was the same council which, a few short years later, allowed the auditorium to be totally gutted in order for two small auditoria to be created within the shell. No amount of cleaned faience tiling and restored neon will ever compensate for the unforgivable loss of this impressive cinema. In the Odeon’s later years, it joined the Odeon, Leicester Square in being one of only two unsubdivided original Odeon theatres. Then there was one…

Ian
Ian on June 4, 2009 at 1:25 am

Side faiance tiling picture here (June 2009):–

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stagedoor/3594049497/

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 4, 2009 at 9:29 am

Another photo can be seen here.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on January 4, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Thanks for the photo links.
Looks like “The Aristocats” yet again make their mark in theatre marquee history. If only I’d kept track.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 4, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Here are new links for the photos posted on Nov 13, 2005

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Ian
Ian on September 25, 2008 at 5:07 am

A few night shots showing the neon, entrance and canopy here (September 2008):–

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Ian
Ian on February 28, 2008 at 11:20 am

In February 2008 the crittall windows in the restaurant and kitchen areas were replaced as part of the on-going upkeep of the building during the annual dark period.

An old shot – circa 1974 – of the Odeon can be seen here:–

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Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 11, 2008 at 5:09 pm

This is a 2008 exterior view.

Ian
Ian on February 5, 2008 at 7:46 am

A collection of interior photos taken before the conversion work began here:–

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Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 24, 2008 at 6:44 pm

Here is another photo of the Stephen Joseph Theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 30, 2007 at 12:45 pm

This is a recent night view.

Ian
Ian on August 25, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Two exterior shots from August 2007 here:–

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Ian
Ian on June 25, 2007 at 5:04 am

Photos taken during the conversion of the Odeon Cinema to the Stephen Joseph Theatre here:–

Exterior:
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Foyers:
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McCarthy Auditorium â€" the former rear circle of the Odeon:
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The Round Theatre â€" in the now gutted front stalls area of the Odeon:
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Ian
Ian on February 16, 2007 at 10:27 pm

A photo from 1989 of the Odeon boarded up :–

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KenRoe
KenRoe on September 3, 2006 at 12:10 pm

A photograph of the Stephen Joseph Theatre as seen in March 2006:
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Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 7, 2006 at 3:53 am

Here is a night view of the Stephen Joseph Theatre.