Odeon Bristol

Union Street,
Bristol, BS1 2DS

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Odeon Bristol

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built for Oscar Deutsch as one of his original Odeon Theatres Ltd. chain of cinemas. The Odeon opened on 16th July 1938 with Deanna Durbin in "Mad About Music". The cinema had a large rotunda corner entrance located on Union Street and Broadmead. The facade is covered with cream faiance tiles. Inside the auditorium, the original seating capacity was provided for 1,945; 1,051 in the stalls and 894 in the circle. The decorative scheme was stepped bands of plaster in the ceiling which contained concealed lighting troughs.

The Odeon was closed for two weeks in December 1940, due to bomb damage. It was modernised in 1967, receiving the infamous Rank Organisation ‘Zing’ treatment which removed most of the decorative features. Converted into a triple screen cinema from 27th May 1974 with 844 seats in the former balcony screen and two mini-screens in the former rear stalls seating 108 and 103.

The Odeon closed on 15th October 1983 for a redevelopment of the interior. The former stalls area was converted into a Mothercare store and a new three-screen cinema opened in the former circle area. Re-opening on 13th June 1985 with the James Bond film "A View To A Kill" showing in all three screens. Seating was now provided for a total of 840; with 400, 225 and 215 seats. A new entrance was provided on Union Street and the architect for the re-construction was Donald Armstrong of the architectural firm; Dowton & Hurst.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

KenRoe
KenRoe on June 4, 2008 at 4:21 pm

A newspaper story about the unsolved murder of the manager of the Odeon in 1946, plus a small photo of the entrance from the 1970’s:
View link
Photographed in 1982, as a three-screen cinema:
View link
A photograph of Broadmead, showing the Odeon in 1965, playing the Rank release:
http://flickr.com/photos/mao_zhou/261417029/
A March 2008 photograph, showing the Odeon cinema, its entrance now on the left hand side in Union Street. The original entrance now serves an H&M store, located in the former stalls area:
http://flickr.com/photos/stringberd/2359085762/

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on October 31, 2012 at 12:34 am

Here is a picture of the Odeon Bristol during the run of “South Pacific.”

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