Odeon East Sheen
143 Sheen Lane,
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Located in the outer southwest London district of East Sheen. The exhibitor Joseph Mears demolished his 1910 built Picturedrome in 1929. He commissioned the architectural firm Leathart & Granger to design another luxury Kinema to add to his chain, which included Kinema’s in affluent districts of London, at Richmond ( still operating as Odeon cinemas in 2013), Kensington and Twickenham (both now demolished).
The Sheen Kinema opened on 22nd December 1930 with Joe E. Brown in "Hold Everything" and Kenneth MacKenna in "Crazy That Way". The facade of the Kinema had a decorative stone bas relief sculpture on each side of the entrance, depicting Art Deco style figures designed by sculpture Eric Aumonier. The name ‘The Sheen" was placed in a central vertical lightbox over the entrance. Inside the beautiful Art Deco style auditorium, seating was provided in stalls and circle levels. There was a Holophane lighting system which had over 600 combinations of colours to illuminate the space. The Sheen Kinema was equipped with a Christie 2Manual/8Ranks organ, the console was on the left of the orchestra pit, but was not on a lift.
As all the chains' Kinemas had their location as their name, they were required to be re-named at the beginning of World War II in case German parachutists ever came upon them and could pinpoint their location. The Sheen Kinema was re-named Empire Cinema from July 1940.
It was taken over, together with the rest of the Joseph Mears Theatres Ltd. circuit, by Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Theatres Ltd. chain on 3rd January 1944. It was re-named Odeon on 17th June 1945.
The Rank Organisation closed the Odeon on 3rd June 1961 with James Robertson Justice in "Very Important Person" and "Jet Circle". The building was demolished a month later in July 1961, and an office block with some retail use named Parkway House was built on the site.
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