Focus Cinema

Brentgovel Street,
Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1EJ

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Focus Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, at the corner of Brentgovel Street & Well Street. One of the original Odeon Theatre’s built by Oscar Deutsch for his Odeon Theatres Ltd. circuit. The Odeon Theatre, Bury St Edmunds opened on 5th July 1937 with Merle Oberon in "Beloved Enemy" and Claire Trevor in "Star for a Night". The opening was attended by Merle Oberon in person.

The Odeon had a stylish facade with two side towers which contained glazing and a central tower feature which was set in the centre of a recess and contained the theatre name. Inside the auditorium seating was arranged for 867 in the stalls and 422 in the circle. There were decorative bands on the side walls of the anti-proscenium and these were broken by a recess edged by columns. The stage was 20 feet deep and there were two dressing rooms.

From 4th October 1975 the Rank Organisation leased the Odeon to Brent Walker Ltd. and it was re-named Focus Cinema. The cinema was designated a Grade II Listed building from 1st May 1981, but was de-listed only a few months later on 11th August 1981. This was possibly because there were already planning applications put forward for redevelopment of the area, maybe the powers that be had pressure put on them?

The Focus Cinema closed on 30th October 1982 with Walt Disney’s "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". It was demolished in 1983 and was replaced by a shopping arcade.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 23, 2008 at 9:59 am

A vintage view of the Odeon Bury St. Edmunds in the early 1960’s:
View link

ODEON_NUT
ODEON_NUT on February 4, 2012 at 5:17 am

See? Listing means nothing when the powers that be decide the ground could be put to other more lucrative use – money talks.

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