Odeon Halifax

Broad Street,
Halifax, HX1 1YA

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Odeon Halifax

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Halifax Odeon opened on 27th June 1938 with Errol Flynn in “The Perfect Speciman”. It is bounded by Orange Street, Broad Street, and Great Albion Street. The architect was George Coles and it cost £59,727 to build. It had 1,344 stalls seats and 714 in the balcony giving a total of 2,058. A most unusual façade remains intact with three concave bays covered with buff faience tiles, above the entrance each containing a convex window. A tall Art Deco style tower formerly had the Odeon lettering illuminated by neon. It was however not originally intended for the Odeon circuit, but was a take over during construction, which explains its differences from the typical ‘Odeon’ style.

The cinema had a wide proscenium and a stylish interior with decoration dominated by two large bas-relief female figures either side of the screen. Lighting was entirely indirect.

The Odeon Cinema closed on 18th October 1975 with “Confessions of a Pop Performer”. and stood unused for a while. It was later converted into a Top Rank Bingo Club which is still operating, under a different name, today.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 51 comments)

danny18badel
danny18badel on April 27, 2015 at 11:25 pm

Terry I have just been on google earth and homed in on the odeon Halifax and it really upset me to see it looking so run down what a shame don’t the mecca group do any maintenance at all on the exterior? I think it stinks I think the building could accommodate just as many screens as vue over the road and with style,anyway more about you,what did you do after you left the industry? I really am interested,you must be about my age,are you married,and do you have your own home?I don’t mean to be nosey its just that I want you to do well as I see you as a big connection to my happy history in uk, which even after all these years it is still always in my heart,now about Ken close he would be well and truly retired by now,he was aprox in his mid thirties when we worked together,I seem to remember he was from around the Newcastle area,which makes him a Geordie just like my dad,so I would say hes gone up there maybe?I would love to be in touch with him also….

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on April 28, 2015 at 1:36 am

Danny, Would that be the Ken Close who was the management trainee before me at York Odeon in ‘66 with George (ex Halifax Odeon) Shepheard. We overlapped by only a couple of weeks but I can’t recall where he was posted as a fully-fledged assistant/relief manager prior to becoming a manager. Maybe there were just too many Kens and Jameses around!

terry
terry on April 28, 2015 at 7:25 am

Hi Danny

2 days in succession on here which may be regarded as sad by some…..

I shall give you my e-mail address as I do not imagine the readers on here will be interested in my personal life :–

I also have an A***book page(!):–

https://www.facebook.com/terry.charnock

I am registered on Twitter too but I have heard too many tales of people getting into trouble by expressing their views on there and, as I would most likely fall into that category, I avoid it. In actual fact the sole reason for my registering was to support a former projectionist of mine, Steven, who, funnily enough, trained at the original Odeon (Blacks Regal) Gateshead and he was with me at the super ABC Westgate Road Newcastle which you would have loved as it had everything including 70mm in BOTH auditoria. The main auditorium still retained the cine variety stage although, apart from occasional personal appearances etc, it was never used after twinning.

Butterflying back to Twitter, however, Steven was absolutely besotted by the film ‘Oliver’ and years ago he created a really extensive website for the film which he keeps adding to (no financial assistance from Columbia, by the way)and it requires such a great bandwidth that he ran out of hosts. Finally he had to resort to Twitter and he asked me and various others to subscribe just for the sake of his website.

Re Ken Close, the last time I saw him was decades ago at ABC Huddersfield when he came to see one of those disaster films that were all the rage back then. I have never seen him since.

When Odeon Halifax closed, the Manager of the Odeon in my home town of Bishop Auckland, a lovely chap by the name of Walter Aylen, happened to pass away; Ken had worked there with Walter at one time.

Life has to go on and all that, so I rang Ken, who had just received his redundancy notice, to tell him about Bishop Auckland and to get his application in if he wanted to stay with Rank. This he duly did and I think that he was in with a chance until it was announced that the Pavilion Newcastle was to be belatedly added to the massive closure list that included Halifax and thus the Manager of the Pavilion, Jim Stewart,was appointed at Bishop Auckland, unfortunately…….

Ironically, 7 years later, it was the Manager of Bishop Auckland Odeon, Doris Hart (she followed Jim in there when he went to Stockton), who rang me to tell me about the impending early retirement of Archie Heaton at ABC Darlington (she used to be A/M at the Odeon there) and for me to get MY application in as she knew I did not like being at Chester…..

James, if you happen to read the above, this answers your question re Ken Close and he was – hopefully still is – one and the same. I shall try to get down there again in the near future (Chester Le Street Station is literally yards from my house) and likewise you’ll have to visit here.

All the best for now to you both.

Terry

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on April 28, 2015 at 8:26 am

Hi Terry,

Yes – ear to the ground! It must be THE Ken I’ve not seen for 49 years!!

You will, I think, have heard that Everyman are attempting to get the funds together (and Landlords' permissions) to acquire Odeons Barnet, Esher, Gerrards Cross and the iconic original Muswell Hill cinema from Odeon Cinemas Ltd.

I will hope to come to you within the next couple of weeks – hospital appointments permitting.

Best regards,

James

danny18badel
danny18badel on April 28, 2015 at 7:40 pm

Hi guys one and both great story Terry Ive made up my mind to build a time machine and go back in time to 1971 and stay there oops just joking but what a great idea Terry we could get together and go across the road and have a pint just like then I could whinge to you about my latest drama on my last shift, I cant even remember the pub we used to use,anyway nuf said for now I am doing an install soon so will be very busy for a little while but will take in your email address and contact you again later ok

danny18badel
danny18badel on May 3, 2015 at 11:14 pm

Still keeping an eye open for any new posts!

danny18badel
danny18badel on May 18, 2015 at 11:12 pm

Hi guys back again just upgraded a small theatre to 4k doesn’t look bad but I still think unless you have a very large screen its just a waste I feel 720 is just as good and the human eye can only see so much detail now there is talk about 8k DMD on the market what next?

danny18badel
danny18badel on May 22, 2015 at 1:25 am

Just a quick comment I noticed the comment at the top of the screen re the last movie screened at the Odeon it is half right the movie was confessions of a window cleaner I know because I was the projectionist at the time

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 22, 2015 at 2:49 am

danny18badel: Are you certain it was “Confessions of a Window Cleaner” as that was released in August 1974 and would have been an over one year ‘old’ film by the date of the Odeon closing? “Confessions of a Pop Performer” was released in July 1975.

Did Rank bring back ‘Window Cleaner’ or do we have the incorrect year of closing?

terry
terry on May 22, 2015 at 4:34 am

It was ‘Confessions Of A Pop Performer’ as I was Relief Manager at the ABC Halifax that week and I had to type it on the ABC ‘Opposition Report Form No. 6 ’ and when I returned to base, ABC Wigan, it was also playing there as, having no Odeon in the town, we played both releases.

Danny, you can be forgiven for getting your ‘Confessions’ mixed up as they were all much of a muchness , weren’t they?

Strange that Odeon were never represented in a large town like Wigan as they were in neighbouring Bolton and Warrington – although not in exotic St Helens…….

The last opposition cinema in Wigan which would have played the ‘Confessions’ series had it still been open was called the Court and was part of the Brennans Circuit.

My apologies for butterflying to Costa del Wigan but it is strange how things come flooding back even after nearly 40 years!

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