Odeon Merrion Centre Leeds
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The Odeon Merrion Centre Leeds was the first cinema built in Leeds since the 1930’s and had the shortest life. It cost £100,000 and was notable in that an induction loop for the hard of hearing was part of the design.
It was opened as a ‘Roadshow’ cinema by the Rank Organisation on August 17, 1964 with Stephen Boyd in “The Fall Of The Roman Empire” presented in 70mm. It was designed by Leeds based architectural firm Gillinson Barnett. The auditorium was externally a very plain brick box hidden from view in the Merrion Shopping Mall service area. It had a stadium plan with a well raked auditorium entered at 1st floor level with seats above and below entry level. The entrance (seen after closure in the photo) was inside the Merrion Centre at 1st floor level adjacent to Morrison’s supermarket. It was closed on 17th May 1969 to be equipped with Cinerama, and re-opened in August 1969.
The display panel is now mirrored but behind the entrance doors the cinema remains intact. It closed on October 1, 1977 with a revival of "Gone With The Wind" presented in 70mm. This was after the Odeon on The Headrow/Briggate (former Paramount Theatre) had been twinned and just before the 3rd screen was added there.
A waste of a fine modern and comfortable cinema which has not been used for anything useful since.
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