Odeon Halifax

Broad Street,
Halifax, HX1 1YA

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Odeon Halifax

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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 25 comments)

terry
terry on July 7, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Apologies re Brett Childes – he died in 2008 and not 2009…..

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on July 7, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Terry, That’s fascinating for me to read as so many names are familiar from so long ago. Brett Childes is so familiar yet I cannot remember why it should be so. I’m sure George Skelton would have been the manager of Stockton Globe when I had the Odeon (I was Assistant Manager in charge as the “real” manager, Bernard Goldthorpe was off for a long time following a pulmonory thrombosis). One of my part-time usherettes used to always be on leave over Christmas/New Year in order to appear in the Globe’s pantomime as one of the dancers. I’m sure it would have been Mr Skelton who very kindly gave me and a colleague front row circle seats for the opening night of a touring opera company performing “Madam Butterfly” at the Globe and, if I’m not mistaken, told us about the Shadows composing “Stars Fell on Stockton” while appearing at his theatre in panto. Jim Stewart is yet another familiar name. When the North East Area had its area meetings at York’s Royal Station Hotel, quite a few of the attending managers would call in at the Odeon to have a chat with George Shepheard on the eve of the meeting and, no doubt, this is where I would have come across them and why their names remain familiar. If you’re ever within striking distance of York, you’d be very welcome to come over for some refreshment and a bit of reminiscing! I have a home cinema with 4K digital projector, motorised tabs, three-colour circuit pageants and LED concealed lighting. Other former cinema people have said things like “By Jove, that takes me back”!

James
.uk

terry
terry on July 8, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Hello James

I have taken the liberty of e-mailing you and have attached 1 or 2 photos of interest.

Regards

Terry

terry
terry on July 8, 2014 at 8:43 pm

FAO Ian Grundy

The Odeon was boarded up for at least a year following its closure in October 1975 (the last film was ‘Confessions Of A Pop Performer’)as Rank’s application for a Bingo Licence was turned down on at least one occasion.

During its period of being shuttered one or two Independent Operators had a look at it with a view to leasing it – at least in the short term – but nothing materialised; one possible reason was that the twin Astra Cinemas (circle area of the old Gaumont)applied for an allocation of product after the Odeon’s closure. They were successful and were granted a 25% allocation which meant that every fourth new release in the West End would play first run at the Astra. I remember that the ABC lost out on a number of occasions when releases which would normally have played there as a matter of course were thus diverted to the small twin (2 x 200 seats) across the road….a bit infuriating, really as prior to its tripling the ABC still had a capacity of 1773!

I think that the launch of the Odeon as a Bingo Club was either in late 1976 or early 1977.

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on July 8, 2014 at 11:47 pm

Terry,

Your email hasn’t appeared here I’m afraid. Could I ask you to re-send it please. Looking forward to seeing your pictures!

Regards,

James

terry
terry on July 9, 2014 at 4:12 pm

James

I sent it to the e-mail address you gave at the end of your message dated 07 July, namely :–

.uk

Regards

Terry

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on July 10, 2014 at 10:55 am

Terry,

I’m at a loss! The email address you used is the right one although I’m slightly puzzled why, when it appeared in your last message, the “uk” was black while the other characters were blue. Nevertheless, I’m sorry you’ve been troubled – it was kind of you to think of sending me the pictures.

Regards,

James

terry
terry on July 10, 2014 at 12:54 pm

James

I have to say that I was puzzled by this also but I copied and pasted the e-mail address exactly as it appeared at the end of your message here dated 7th inst……

Did you receive my e-mail and accompanying pictures, by the way?

Regards

Terry

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on July 10, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Terry,

Afraid not! I’m not aware it’s happened before; I suspect if you were to input my email address manually (without any link to this site) your message and pictures would reach me. I receive many emails with no problem and wonder if C.T.’s direct link is failing.

Sorry your kind gesture is proving so troublesome.

Regards,

James

terry
terry on July 10, 2014 at 6:18 pm

James

I have done what you have suggested, so ‘fingers crossed’…..

Regards

Terry

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