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This started life as one of the seven great Paramount Theatres, built by Paramount Pictures Inc. in the UK. With a full stage, a Compton organ, a large cafe and an elaborately decorated auditorium with 2,670 seats in stalls and single balcony, the Paramount Theatre was the pre-eminent cinema in the city.
It opened on 15th October 1934 with Claudette Colbert in “Cleopatra” with a stage show and Rex 0'Grady on the Compton 4Manual/12Rank organ. It was the largest cinema in the Merseyside area and cost 240,000 pounds to build.
The cinema was decorated in 1930’s Art Deco style with unusual metal grilles either side of the proscenium arch topped by drapes. Lighting was entirely indirect. It was taken over by Odeon in 1942 and almost immediately renamed.
The decorative features were entirely destroyed in 1968 when the stalls and balcony were separated to form two individual cinemas seating 989 in screen 1 (the extended balcony) and well over 1,000 in the huge stalls (screen 2). Odeons 3 and 4 were created by sub-dividing screen 2 in 1973 with the front portion retaining 595 seats and the new auditoria at the rear containing 167 seats each. A large bar in the former circle foyer was in 1979 converted to Odeon 5 with 148 seats.
In Autumn 1999, the building was further subdivided when additional screens were divided out of screens 1 & 2 and an additional 180 seat screen was added on what had been the former stage.
The facade has been covered with sheet metal cladding.
The Odeon was closed on 30th September 2008, being replaced the following day by a purpose built 14-screen Odeon multiplex in the Liverpool ONE centre, located on Paradise Street in the city centre. Demolition of the Odeon began in November 2010, and was completed in March 2011. The plot of land is now used for car parking.
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