Odeon West Hartlepool

81-89 Raby Road,
Hartlepool, TS26

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jbn6773
jbn6773 on September 15, 2011 at 12:19 am

Hartlepool Council have started emergency repair works to the Odeon, with the Young Street elevation of the building now covered in scaffolding. The council have been forced to act after the owners carried out inadequate work following falling masonry from the windows at top level and the curved windows on the corner of the building. The repairs are expected to cost in the region of £20,000 which the council plans to claim back from its owners. Some of the doorways added to allow fire escape from Joe Pools & Caesars Palace have also been boarded up by the council, as the doors were starting to decay.

Britannia
Britannia on August 30, 2011 at 7:34 am

My apologies for one or two typing errors there….

Britannia
Britannia on August 30, 2011 at 7:33 am

As of August 2011, the building’s future is looking increasingly bleak. The owners have had a responsibility to ensure the future of this once ‘majestic" building but have chosen to ignore that custodianship. I do feel that Hartlepool council has to shoulder at lest part of the blame for the disgraceful state of the building. Enforcement orders on maintenence and repairs have been slow in being issued.This has allowed time for decay to set in.Ovne cannot help but think that a bunch of five yerar olds could have done a better job of ensuring the future of this leviathon for future generations…….

jbn6773
jbn6773 on June 28, 2010 at 1:34 am

Hartlepool Borough Council have now boarded off parts of the footpath around the former Odeon building, namely areas at both corners where the large glass tiled windows are located. It has been reported pieces of masonary have been falling, so the council have acted to protect passing members of the public. The owners have been asked to carry out remedial work and find a use for the building. See article below from Hartlepool Mail:
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jbn6773
jbn6773 on March 25, 2010 at 9:56 pm

The footpath along the facade of the Odeon has recently been closed off with barriers running the full length of the building and also behind the shops and South west corner (Near fire escape). Further to the post of March 2nd, it appears that some structural problems may be the cause. The exterior walls are showing signs of damp ingress, with mould appearing in various places. Whether the council enforce the owners to carry out remedial repairs will have to be seen.

jbn6773
jbn6773 on March 2, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Recently, an engineer from Hartlepool Borough Council has visited the Odeon to carry out an external inspection following reports that part of a wall was showing signs of bulging and loose bricks. Whilst no action has been taken to date, the owners have been advised. The building is still a priority on the council ‘grot-spot’ list of buildings, however problems on agreeing a price have so far put off any offers to redevelop the site. Over 28 years since it ended its cinema life, its deterioration is becoming more evident.

jen750
jen750 on October 6, 2009 at 6:04 pm

I took some photographs of the Odeon today and it’s still in a very sorry state. A friend of mine recently commented that when Caesars Palace was open there was three inches of pigeon excrement on the window ledge of the kitchen where food was being prepared. How did the health department not notice it?

jbn6773
jbn6773 on June 21, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Hartlepool Borough Council are looking at compulsory purchase as the current owners are not carrying out any remedial work on the building to improve its appearance. It is a high priority on Mayor Drummonds ‘Grot Spot’ list. The council have already ensured several buildings have either been redeveloped or demolished and the Odeon is probably one of the worst offenders left. It looks highly likely they will then consider de-listing and demolition. As only the stone front images are listed, these could be removed and allow the bulldozers in. Most of the interior was altered / damaged when converted to Caesars Palace in the early 90’s so little probably remains apart from ceiling areas in the foyer which aare hidden above suspended ceilings. The council are eager to deal with the Odeon as it is in a prominent position close to the town centre and with Hartlepool being a ‘Tall Ships 2010’ host port, they are expecting around a million visitors. This is certainly one building in the town they do not want to be seen. With pigeons having access via the side windows since 1981, these areas of the building must be ripe, as they were not used even when it re-opened some 15 or so years ago. Hopefully some recording of its features both inside or out will be carried out if it is in fact demolished. Its certain there is little hope of it being brought back into a useful role, having almost gone through 3 decades since it was in full use. Another of Hartlepools prominent buildings left to rot. With the Wesley Chapel (former Wesley Nightclub) out of use again, it wont be long before that bacomes an eyesore yet again.

jbn6773
jbn6773 on May 19, 2009 at 11:15 pm

Still no sign of any physical progress on the Odeon, 28 and a half years after showing its last film. It appears that Hartlepool Borough Council may be looking at a compulsory purchase order on the building as it is ‘high priority’ on its list of ‘grot spots’. If the council do buy the building, it will be interesting to see how they will spend the council taxpayers money on it. Refurbish/demolish/convert ???

Ian
Ian on January 11, 2008 at 12:30 pm

A few more pictures from January 2008:–

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Ian
Ian on June 6, 2007 at 11:09 am

A few photos taken in 2007 of the derelict Odeon:–

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jbn6773
jbn6773 on March 25, 2007 at 10:03 pm

the future of the odeon looks bleak. Hartlepool council are now looking at listed building demolition following the results of the study that gave no feasable re-use for the building. Attached link shows report from council website

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jbn6773
jbn6773 on February 16, 2007 at 7:24 am

New ‘for sale’ signs have appeared on the Odeon building. these have been fitted by the current owner and have their telephone number on. It is described ad a ‘development opportuniy’ suitable to conversion to flats, shops etc subject to planning consent. Over 25 years since it last showed a film and there is still no firm plan for this crumbling old cinema.

jbn6773
jbn6773 on August 11, 2006 at 7:23 pm

Some more info: THe first option looks interesting, the second could see the end of the building…

A little background as to why this piece of work is being carried out. A Commercial Areas and Key Buildings Strategy was developed which highlighted deep seated economic problems in the area and in particular specific buildings. The Odeon is seen as one of six key strategic buildings within the New Deal for Communities regeneration programme and is a Grade II listed building. Two HBC departments, Economic Development and Regeneration, are working with the owners of these properties to encourage them to bring these building back in to use or at least address the condition they are at present left in. Development work is well underway with the other 5 properties, which resulted in a need to progress work with the Odeon.

Taking in to account the restrictions regarding a Grade II listed property, Rix Regeneration were the preferred consultants appointed to carry out a study to try to identify a viable end use for the Odeon. The event on 20th July was to inform local residents and businesses about the study and to give them the opportunity to comment.

At present there are two interested parties in the building, the first is a local community group wanting to develop the building in to a community theatre with meeting/training room facilities, etc. The second interested party is looking to either develop the building or re-develop the site to create housing accommodation (client group over 50’s).

The study will look at these two options, and any others that may come to light, to determine which would be the most viable and sustainable. Elements such as funding, planning permission, listing status, etc., will have an impact. Therefore, we must remember that whatever the recommendations of the study are there is no guarantee they will come to fruition. The study is to be completed by the end of September 06.

jbn6773
jbn6773 on August 8, 2006 at 10:13 pm

A current shot, from a similar position to the 1950’s picture
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Looking in a very sorry state now. The results of the feasability study are expected at the end of September. From previously stating that the council would not consider demolition, the words now appear on the forum agenda. Bearing in mind how many other significant buildings in the town have gone (Empire Theatre, Lynn Street, Fairworld Cinema, etc) it looks like the Odeon could be next, no doubt replaced by an apartment block, which are appearing on any vacant pieces of land in the town now.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 8, 2006 at 10:10 am

Two vintage views of the Odeon, West Harlepool:
Photographed in September 1949:
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A photograph from the 1950’s:
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jbn6773
jbn6773 on August 8, 2006 at 9:31 am

Hartlepool borough council have recently held a meeting with businesses and residents from the Odeon neighbourhood. This is part of a plan to find an alternative use for the building or consider re-development of the site (demolition of the grade II building). Attached is the agenda for the consultative forum from the council website. A structural survey has been carried out as part of the feasability study of the Odeon. Could the former Majestic/Odeon be coming to the end of its days???
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jbn6773
jbn6773 on June 1, 2006 at 10:37 pm

I have taken some photos of the former Odeon Hartlepool in its current sorry state. These can be viewed at the following:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbn6773/

jbn6773
jbn6773 on January 29, 2006 at 11:01 am

The Odeon has again appeared in the Hartlepool Mail, with the local council now warning owners of all run-down buildings in the town to start tidying them up or be forced into action. With Capanac Leisure now insolvent and the building still up for sale (offers £500,000), it will be interesting to see what happens next. The mayor of Hartlepool, Stuart Drummond, recently held a meeting, which was open to the public. One of the issues being the re-use of vacant and run-down buildings in the town. There has been little action recently, with the shutters over the main entrance only being opened on a couple of occasions whilst Capanac staff have been inside. Notably the upper level windows (projection room level) have been re-boarded, after the boards fell into the building, allowing pigeons to access the property. I hope to take some current pictures of the exterior of the building in the next few days.

jbn6773
jbn6773 on September 9, 2005 at 8:55 pm

There have been some more developments in the last couple of weeks. Capanac Leisure, owners of the building and numerous bars (42nd Street, Shades, Longscar Centre, Horden Big Club, The Legion) have been reported as applying for insolvency. The bars have all closed suddenly. A plumber has been seen working in the Odeon recently and in the last couple of days,Hartlepool Water have been digging up the road outside the building. One only hopes that there hasn’t been any sort of flooding problem inside the already delapidated building. In another twist, Hartlepool Borough Council have warned owners of run-down buildings in the town to do something about them or risk being forced into renovation. New powers give councils the opportunity to enforce owners of buildings that are becoming an eyesore to do something about it. Strange that within a week of two of Capanacs buildings being featured (Odeon & Longscar Centre) in this list that they appear to go ‘belly-up’…. Also, the former Odeon CInema in Middlesbrough (re-opened as Jumpin Jaks nightclub) has again closed its doors, the owners, luminar leisure, have refurbished another nightclub in the town, known as lava & Ignite. The entrance doors to the odeon have been covered with a poster advising customers to go to the new club. Worryingly, I noticed the other day, that one of the side doors, below the tower that showed the Odeon sign appears to have been forced open. This could cause untold damage if vandals manage to get into the building. I will keep you posted. Its suprising what you notice whilst driving a bus!!!

jbn6773
jbn6773 on August 25, 2005 at 5:16 pm

I think it was even earlier than that, I cannot recall them being open much after 2000. There has been some activity in the last week or so, with capanac leisure vans appearing outside, although I haven’t seen anymore fittings being removed. I will keep you informed as I pass almost everyday being a bus driver.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 9, 2005 at 3:46 pm

jbn6773:
Thanks for the correction (regarding bingo hall use) and for the up-date on the recent history of this important cinema building.

I believe the Caesars Palace and Joe Pools bar operations closed down in around 2002 and the building has remained empty and unused since then.

jbn6773
jbn6773 on June 28, 2005 at 7:47 pm

The Odeon was not converted into a bingo hall. There were plans to open it for various schemes including a snooker hall, but none ever came to fruition. It remained boarded up and out of use until it was bought by a family from Billingham (Anne Marie-Bell I believe) in the early/mid 90’s, they planned to turn it into a cabaret venue/ nightclub with 2 cinemas in the upper sections,(To be called Park Avenue). Unfortunately, they ran out of money before it was completed and the building was again sold (by auction) to Hartlepool based Capanac Leisure. They turned part of the former stalls area into a bar called ‘Joe Pools’ with the remaining stalls, stage and the front section of the circle all being opened as Caesars Palace. The two cinema rooms built by the previous owners are understood to remain empty behind the balcony of Caesars Palace. The entire complex closed a few years ago and is now up for sale for £500,000. It is in a very sorry state with water damage on the front wall, near to the stage area. Most of the windows located on the upper foyer and floor above have never been replaced since it closed in 1981 and the building is rife with pigeons. The smell from inside is so strong it is very noticable from behind the roller shutters on the main entrance. Capanac workers have been removing various furnishing and sound/lighting fittings in recent months, so it appears they are stripping it out. There has been a study taken on behalf of the council to try and find alternative uses for the building (conversion to appartments being one suggested).

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 30, 2005 at 2:25 pm

Opened as the Majestic Cinema on 27th July 1936, it had an original seating capacity given as 1,600. Soon after opening it was taken over by Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Theatres chain and re-named Odeon.

It closed on 24th October 1981 and was converted first into a bingo hall and in recent years has been a night club named Caesar’s Palace.