Odeon Salisbury

15 New Canal,
Salisbury, SP1 2AA

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Odeon cinema, Salisbury

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Gaumont Palace Cinema opened on 7th September 1931 with Ralph Lynn in “Chance of a Night Time”. It was a project of Albany Ward, a division of Gaumont British Theatres. This is possibly one of the most unique historic cinema buildings in the United Kingdom.

The facade and outer foyer is actually a Grade I Listed building, built as Ye Halle of John Halle, a Tudor Gothic style building which was originally built as the home of a 15th Century wool merchant in the 1470’s. It received a new Mock Tudor style facade, designed by Pugin in 1834. Inside the foyer is all genuine from the pre-Tudor period and has original oak beams in the ceiling with shields and swords hanging on the walls.

The auditorium (built in 1931) is in a Tudor Style, with seating for 1,125 in the stalls and 550 in the circle. There were over 40 framed canvas murals by artist Frank Barnes representing hanging tapestries, hanging on the side-walls and other walls in the building. The ceiling has heavy wood beams (actualy made of fibrous plaster), and the walls were given a treatment to look like ashler stonework. There was a large restaurant which was again decorated in a similar Tudor style and it had oak tables and chairs and inglenook fireplaces.

It was re-named Gaumont in 1937 and re-named Odeon by the Rank Organisation in August 1964. It was converted into a triple screen from November 1972 by creating two mini-screens in the rear stalls under the circle, seating 120 in each. In 1993 a fourth screen seating 70 was created in the former restaurant area and in April 1995 a fifth screen was created in the former front stalls area with a seating capacity of 278.

The cinema has lost some of its decoration, but there is still enough surviving today. It was designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage in 1984 (after the tripling).

The Odeon was threatened with closure and possible demolition in 1986, but this was averted by a strong local community protest and aided by the Listed Grade’s I and II of the building.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 13, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Some vintage photographs of the Odeon
Exterior views
As the Gaumont Palace, soon after opening in 1931. Note the ‘olde worlde’ script of the neon name signs, only allowed in this style, so as to fit in with the Grade I List building status:
View link
As the Odeon in August 1970, playing the Rank release. The especially made ‘Odeon’ sign cannot be seen properly at this angle:
View link
Interior views
The vestibule foyer, Ye Halle of John Halle (built 1400’s). A view towards the street entrance in 1931:
View link
The auditorium from the circle in 1931:
View link
The auditorium from the stalls in 1931:
View link
The restaurant in 1931:
View link

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on January 13, 2008 at 10:05 pm

I really dont know what to say?? I’ll start with WOW!

Ian
Ian on February 29, 2008 at 4:26 pm

A 1975 exterior view here:–

View link

keiths
keiths on July 8, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Here is a 1990’s view of the foyer

View link

keiths
keiths on July 8, 2009 at 3:16 pm

And here’s a version of it you might be able to see without a magnifying glass!

View link

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on October 31, 2012 at 11:31 am

Interior views of the theater’s auditorium as it was in 1931 can be seen here and here, and a view of the cafĂ© can be seen here.

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