Odeon Liverpool

London Road,
Liverpool, L3 5NF

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 Site of Liverpool's former Odeon London Rd.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 27 comments)

Ian
Ian on March 22, 2011 at 4:21 am

Cinema Treasures – they update the submitted text from time to time to keep it current, obviously they were a bit early on the Odeon.

woody
woody on March 22, 2011 at 5:09 am

quite a few photos on flickr, this one shows some of the facade revealed for the first time since the cladding went up in 68 (?)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/earlex/5520879199/

laurajade18
laurajade18 on March 23, 2011 at 11:25 am

Haha Philip, no worries, and apologies! and totally agree, there is still plenty left so worth a visit – and for people to take a good look at some of the details.
And I had to laugh at your mention of the two buildings remaining. I think I read somewhere (and I hope someone can confirm this story!) that when building the paramount, Ma Egerton’s (the pub around the back by Lime Street station) was under consideration for demolition, and the paramount was to take up the whole space. But the landlord’s refused to sell up, meaning the planners had to rethink and build around the pub! And now Ma Egerton’s is going to outlive the Odeon it seems that pub will never die!
The same demolition company pulled down the building further up London Road, which was the old Collier’s Tailors clothing store, and it took them a while to demolish that as well.

Woody Рgreat photo link, I was pleased to see the old fa̤ade revealed once again when I visited! Shame its stayed hidden for so long!

Picturedrome
Picturedrome on March 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Yes, the two buildings are much older than the cinema.
You can see where the one facing London Road was cut short to allow for the entrance to the cinema.
Ma Egerton’s was originally on the site where the Forum was built in Lime Street, so it would have moved after June 1929.
(I’ve got a copy of a press cutting from June 1929).
That story you heard must have been from somebody who got their facts wrong.

laurajade18
laurajade18 on March 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Some classic pictures here: View link

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on June 30, 2012 at 10:58 am

Not having looked up this cinema on CT for some time I was saddened when in Liverpool yesterday to see that the Odeon was no more,I asked a chap working in a shop opposite as to when it was demolished, and he said it was a couple of months ago,anything to get rid of me I suppose. I decided to take a picture anyway, I wonder what happened to the plaque honouring the late Liverpool film star John Gregson, which I remember being unveiled although I never saw it myself.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on June 30, 2012 at 10:59 am

Please click on photos for the picture.

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