Odeon Westover Bournemouth

37 Westover Road,
Bournemouth, BH1 2BZ

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Showing 1 - 25 of 37 comments

CF100 on December 5, 2017 at 3:03 am

Having never been to Westover Road—or Bournemouth for that matter!—these cinemas are only of passing academic interest to me. But I couldn’t resist having a look at the 28DaysLater photos—and as a result found a “Historic Building Appraisal” (mentioned but not linked to in the 28DaysLater thread.)

It can be found among the documents in a planning application—between Comment 49 and 50 at the bottom of the page.

The appraisal is 142 pages (!) long, with numerous photos, including of the 1969 conversion works. Incredible!

Quite how in such expensive conversions fragments remain which could clearly have easily been removed is beyond me, especially above ceilings where they would seem to be a liability. Then again, shortcuts taken by builders are often very puzzling indeed…

As a result of searching through planning applications on Bournemouth Council’s site, I notice that the address shown on Cinema Treasures is erroneous—27 Westover Road being that of the former ABC.

Zappomatic on December 3, 2017 at 11:54 pm

Some interesting shots of old murals and the original proscenium plasterwork: https://www.28dayslater.co.uk/odeon-cinema-aka-regent-theatre-westover-road-bournemouth-july-2017.t110311

thomastace on January 31, 2017 at 2:14 pm

Closing on 9/2/2017

Fabian_Breckels on August 30, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Visited on Sunday. In better condition than the ABC but again the main auditorium is in semi darkness. No photographs allowed so this too is being deliberately run down before the multiplex replaces it. At least the ventilation was working properly, unlike the ABC up the road!

Marcus17 on January 19, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Wanted: billionaire to buy the UK’s last Cinerama venue

Please contact the campaign a.s.a.p.

Save Bournemouth Odeon Campaign “Striving To Keep Cinema Theatrical"

Please see the campaign support page: https://www.facebook.com/Save-Bournemouth-Odeon-Striving-To-Keep-Cinema-Theatrical-509679079071187/

Empire_fan on July 11, 2015 at 2:48 am

edwardo, he worked at UCI and Warner Bros, you might have misread.

mrchangeover on July 4, 2015 at 3:40 pm

From the aerial shot it looks like the projection room of the original Gaumont, like several other older Gaumonts, was on the roof. Allen Eyles, in his excellent history of Gaumont British Cinemas, mentions that the projection ports are at the rear of the interior dome. Does anyone know how the projectionists accessed the projection room? Did they use an interior staircase and then have to walk across part of the roof outside? Did this type of design result in an excessively steep throw for the projectors and image distortion for those in the audience who were sitting towards the front of the main floor?

edwardo on March 26, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Andy Summers was not a projection at the Gaumont he was just there on a work Exsperianc .

FanaticalAboutOdeon on January 27, 2015 at 12:07 am

The plan is indeed for the present Odeon and ABC cinemas to close once the ten screen Odeon multiplex is completed on Exeter Road in 2016. I for one can’t imagine Westover Road without its two impressive cinemas overlooking the Pavilion fountains and gardens. No doubt we’ll be told the facade of the Regent/Gaumont/Odeon will be retained to “maintain the streetscape” but what good is that when the cinema itself is gone? The thought of a mega Tesco or the south’s largest Macdonalds sitting behind the famous colonnade is not a happy prospect.

Paul Stephenson
Paul Stephenson on December 13, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Unfortunately the long delayed new multiplex has started construction, due for completion in 18 months – late summer 2016. This doesn’t bode well for the existing Odeon and ABC cinemas in Bournemouth.

Vinci starts £50m cinema complex

Marcus17 on April 1, 2014 at 12:29 am

Hello all,

The Save Bournemouth Odeon Campaign (“Striving To Keep Cinema Theatrical”) is growing strength.

Can ex-staff of this building or the ABC down-the-road please contact the campaign a.s.a.p. We have already heard from a few but we would like to meet more people and chat cinema. We have a function planned.

Cheers :)

MikeJC on June 20, 2013 at 11:20 am

The organ is long gone, but in the thirties, for a time, the audience was entertained with organ and piano duets played by Kevin and Edith Buckley and at least one 78rpm record of their playing at this theatre was issued by HMV – Chopsticks on one side the the Gavotte (I think!) from Mignon by Ambroise Thomas on the other. In the sixties the BBC broadcast a weekly programme, “Melody for Late Evening” played on the Wurlitzer by Ronald Brickhill, the last resident organist.

FanaticalAboutOdeon on May 12, 2013 at 12:38 am

GilesEngland – Really good to hear about the presentation standards at the Gaumont in such detail – especially the use of the act-drop/house curtain and the precision of the non-sync music. What a sense of occasion and excited anticipation would be created by clever use of tabs and lighting and how “conspicuous by their absence” are such things in today’s uninspired multiplex rooms. At a time when cinemas ought to be pulling out all the stops to make the experience very different from today’s increasingly sophisticated TVs, the opposite seems to be happening – naked screens, lighting like an airport lounge, masking unused, “No thanks!”. I have a home cinema with variable masking, house and screen tabs, three-colour circuit pageant lighting, LED concealed lighting and projected clock. Friends and neighbours love the atmosphere and you should see children’s expressions when colours change and fade as the curtains open and the picture appears as if by magic. Most multiplexes are conveyor belts for the consumption of popcorn and films – in that order – designed by those with neither flair nor imagination but who are capable of feeding numbers of seats and exits, speaker positions, air conditioning and screen dimensions into a computer model. What comes out at the other end is a cinema with no theatrical connection whatsoever; bland, cold, uninspiring and without “magic”.

Marcus17 on March 17, 2013 at 8:20 am

People who are interested in saving the Bournemouth Odeon & ABC from being moved & redeveloped can post comments, pictures, and raise discussion on Facebook. Search; ‘Save Bournemouth Odeon’ on Facebook or Google it.

keiths on February 21, 2013 at 10:40 am

Although not a local myself, I have a long family history with the town, and have spent a lot of happy times in the area over the last 60 years. To contemplate the replacement of this historic cinema with the anonymity of an underground multiplex doesn’t bear thinking about. It’s a real shame that its operators don’t use its uniqueness as a major selling point. What does their PR department DO with itself all day?

echodaz on February 20, 2013 at 10:16 am

I’m chief reporter at the Daily Echo in Bournemouth and I’ve only recently been made aware of this thread. If anyone’s interested in commenting in the paper – preferably with real name attached – I’d be very interested to hear from you. I have in mind a news piece about those who don’t want to see the Odeon and ABC disappear and also perhaps a feature on the history of the venues. Darren Slade, .uk Or via Twitter: @echodaz

8thFloorJon on February 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Would be a tragic loss to see this go, 150 seat black boxes are not the same! Good luck with the campaign to save it.

Marcus17 on February 18, 2013 at 11:12 pm


There is a video on utube that shows Screen 1 of the Odeon Bournemouth back in 2001.


Marcus17 on February 18, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Hello all,

Does anyone have any more information on what the future holds for the Odeon Bournemouth cinema?

It is a truly Beautiful cinema with screen one being unique in its own right. I remember up until several years ago it had fantastic golden curtains, which were illuminated by ceiling lighting where fine colours of yellow, blue, and red changed just before the projector started. I am told that the screen masking is no longer used nor do the curtains move. In fact, blue light is only used now as pictured on this website. A great disappointment!

I do really hope that the Odeon Westover Road, Bournemouth can stay and not be redeveloped into ‘presentation rooms’ like what you see in some other dull cinemas. The screen one in the ABC cinema up the road is also a ‘proper’ cinema. They both form part of the town and my family and I have enjoyed them for many years. They are historically irreplaceable.

CSWalczak on October 31, 2012 at 11:06 am

Here is an interior picture of the theatre when it opened as the Regent in 1929.

Fabian_Breckels on June 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Odeon 1 is the last Cinerama auditorium left in the UK. Bournemouth could lose it & the ABC for a small, underground multiplex. If you live in Bournemouth, please oppose these plans.

DAVID STICKLAND on May 20, 2012 at 4:10 am

GilesEngland. Now, that’s what I call presentation. I too was trained in the art by Showman Chief Roy Roberts at the Embassy Tenterden. The former Shipman & King Theatre was a small art deco cinema that had charm. We cranked up the presentation with stage lighting and special effects from the projection room. Non-sync was timed to the second and various lens were used in roadshow presentations to adjust the huge screen with motorised top and side masking. Our last working relationship came with the State Theatre Grays. A 2200 seater with full working stage and Compton Organ. Sadly, this beautiful old Grade 11* listed cinema has been left to rot and it’s future is still uncertain. Like yourself, I have been privileged to work, not just projecting films but giving the public that something extra. Showmanship.

GilesEngland on June 20, 2011 at 10:45 am

I worked at the Gaumont Theatre, Bournemouth as a trainee projectionist from January 1961 to October 1963, transferring to other theatres in the Rank Organisation chain in an assistant management role in 1964. I returned to the Gaumont Bournemouth in 1968, joining the management team under Charles Booth. I was there at the time it closed for redevelop as a twin theatre, transferring during the redevelopment to the Odeon, Bournemouth. I remember that almost immediately after the audience had left the theatre after the last show, the seats where being ripped out. I returned to the Gaumont for its opening in 1969.

I remember my time at the Gaumont as a trainee projectionist under then Chief Projectionist Tom Mellor with affection. I was particularly thankful that Tom thought it unnecessary to hand polish the positive carbon rods used in the arc lamps on the Gaumont Kalee 21 projectors. This saved me from a dirty and tedious polishing job. I now live in Wales, somewhat saddened to hear that the theatre is likely to disappear. Great attention was made to good presentation and showmanship, which seems to be absent in typical modern multiplexes. On one occasion in 1961 when the screen curtains had been sent away for cleaning (and which shrank, therefore needing to have the length extended with new cloth) I was often sent down to the stage to hand pull the ‘Act drop’ up and down to ensure the presentation was up to standard. This was a heavy (though counter-weighted) red velvet and gold curtain normally only used for stage shows and pop one-night performances. We also marked the vinyl LP disks with chinagraph pencil marks so that the non-sync music finished on cue before the film credits. There were five full time projectionists operating on two shifts, including me. Days long gone.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm

A vintage photograph of the Regent Theatre, and the console of its Wurlitzer organ:

drguywalker on August 26, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Happened to visit ‘Odeon 6’ (or Gaumont 2 as was) recently and I concur with Jeff. It’s good to see some improvements and the bigger screen is definately one of them – it used to be demoralising enough to have that old postage stamp sized one, only for it to get smaller for Cinemascope films! Funnily enough, I also happened to be passing outside on the day of the cinema’s 40th anniversary (since its twinning, which had a gala re-opening on 15th July 1969, the day before Apollo). Funny old thing really, but there were queues right down the street; I thought ‘happy birthday’ to the old place, ‘good on you’. I bet no one in the queue realised that up in Odeon 1 they were visiting the UK’s last surviving, intact, purpose designed Cinerama theatre. In the states they might have restored it and had it as a centrpiece to a multiplex (as in the Arclight/CineramaDome in Hollywood). That’s just a bit of fanciful thinking on my part…