Odeon Holloway

419-427 Holloway Road,
London, N7 6LJ

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Gaumont Cinema Holloway

Originally intended to be a sister theater to the Gaumont State Theatre, Kilburn, London (England’s largest purpose built cinema with 4,004 seats), the 3,006 seat Holloway Gaumont was again like Kilburn a promotion of Hyams & Gale who sold out to Gaumont British Theatres as the building was being completed. The Gaumont Theatre opened on 5th September 1938 with Dorothy Lamour in “The Hurricane”.

It was designed by noted American theatre architect C. Howard Crane, who had come to London from his Detroit, Ohio base during the Depression, during which time he also designed the Granada Theatre, Greenwich in south London, and the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in the west London suburb of that name (both in 1937). The Gaumont Theatre has a massive street frontage corner facade, and originally had a 220 seat restaurant (with out-door terrace seating on the Holloway Road side) and a broadcasting studio in the top of the square tower. The foyer and auditorium were in a French Renaissance style, similar to Gaumont State, Kilburn. The Gaumont was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3Manual/12Rank theatre organ.

The beautiful auditorium was destroyed by a V1 Rocket bomb on 8th November 1944, although the main walls survived as did the foyer. It wasn’t until post war building regulations were lifted that reconstruction could take place and a new auditorium in sleek modern lines (architects T.P. Bennett & Sons) graced the Gaumont when it re-opened on 21st July 1958 with Clark Gable in “Run Silent, Run Deep”.

It was re-named Odeon in November 1962 and triple screened in 1973. Since then it has been further sub-divided into eight screens, with only the outer walls and the foyer remaining in anything like their original 1938 condition. Seating capacities in the auditoriums in 2008 are; 330, 315, 72, 239, 191, 253, 94 and 105. It remains in operation as a successful first-run general release theater in this district of North London.

To celebrate the theater’s 65th anniverary in 2003, a new metal flag-pole was erected on top of the tower, replacing the original, by now rotting wooden one. A new Odeon corporate flag was especially made to fly on the mast. In November 2010, the Odeon Holloway became the first of the Odeon cinemas to be equipped as an all digital theatre in all its auditoriums.

The facade and the foyer are Grade II Listed parts of the building.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

kevinp on August 16, 2005 at 12:40 pm


tap on the following link


And go to Odeon Cavalcade, select Odeon Holloway…. and see EXTENSIVE pictures of this wondrous cinema


kev p

porterfaulkner on August 16, 2005 at 1:42 pm

Now just a shadow of it former self, but still an imposing exterior.

Ian on August 10, 2007 at 4:15 am

A few photos from 1988 here:

View link

View link
View link

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on December 28, 2007 at 6:06 pm

I apologize for invading the Odeon, Holloway, spaces BUT would dearly love to see any photos of the auditorium (original or restoration) of my much missed ODEON in SOUTHAMPTON.

My thanks to Kev Phelan (Aug 16) for the above link to the historic exterior shots of the (now destroyed) cinema I patronized so often!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm

A set of vintage photographs of the Gaumont, now Odeon Holloway:
View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 30, 2010 at 5:13 am

Vintage photographs of the Gaumont, and its Wurlitzer organ console:

Wurlitzer420 on December 6, 2015 at 11:43 am

this Wurlitzer had a Tibia Plena rank instead of the normal Tibia Clausa.The only Wurlitzer in GB with a similair Tibia is the Wurlitzer in the Opera house Blackpool

madorganplayer on January 21, 2017 at 1:04 pm

Actually the Wurlitzer had a rare Tibia Plena as well as a Tibia Clausa.Apparently the whole organ survived the bombing and was stored at the Odeon Shepherds Bush.But obviously by the late 1950`s they no longer wanted the bother of reinstalling the organ when the auditorium was rebuilt.The organ was then dispersed with some parts used on the Tower Blackpool Wurlitzer and the fire there.

PhilipWW on January 3, 2019 at 7:42 am

Apparently Odeon have submitted plans to Islington council to refurbish the cinema.

Screen 3 will be abolished to make room for an enlarged foyer and the vacant shops on the side of the cinema will be redeveloped as restaurants linked to the cinema foyer.

The article below from the ‘Islington Tribune’ explains further. http://islingtontribune.com/article/restaurant-will-star-at-revamped-holloway-road-odeon

I do not know if the plans have been approved or when work will commence.

Presumable the cinema will be refurbished to ‘Odeon Luxe’ standards.

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