Odeon Becontree

947A Green Lane,
Becontree, RM8 1DJ

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Odeon Becontree

Located on the corner of Green Lane and Waldegrave Road, Becontree (a district of Dagenham, Essex in the east of what today is part of Greater London). The Regent Cinema opened in March 1929 and was built and operated by the independent operator; Kay Brothers. Designed by the architectural firm Lewis Solomon & Son, the building has a Classical style façade on the corner entrance, with the main auditorium block running parallel to Green Lane behind a row of shop units. Seating was provided in stalls and circle levels. The Regent Cinema was equipped with a small stage and four dressing rooms and there was a café.

Kay Brothers were taken over by the Kessex Cinemas chain who were later to become part of the Eastern (GCF) Cinemas chain. The Regent Cinema was leased to the Odeon Theatres Ltd. chain operated by Oscar Deutsch in 1939 and was taken over by Odeon from February 1942.

It was re-named Odeon from 29th July 1947 and continued until it was closed by the Rank Organisation on 4th April 1970 with Bill Travers in "Ring of Bright Water" and Norman Wisdom in "Press For Time".

The building stood empty for several years until it was converted into a Coral Bingo Club. Later operated by Gala Bingo it was closed on 9th April 1997. The building remained empty for two years until it was converted into its current use as an Elim Pentecostal Church in February 1999.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 20, 2009 at 7:43 am

A vintage photograph of the former Odeon, in July 1983 as a Coral Bingo Club:
View link

devrob2 on June 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm

The current google location shown is a bit off from the actual location. Move to 740 Green Lane, right hand side to see frontage of the building as it is today. I enjoyed working there when it was a Gala club in the mid nineties, having previously played there when it was still under the Coral logo.

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