Orion Theatre

Crescent West,
Cleveleys, FY5 1AB

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SIMONBLACKAMORE on October 31, 2013 at 4:38 pm

This brings back memories of when I lived in Cleveleys. It was around 1949 to 1951 when saw several shows at the Queens theatre for free because I attended in my St. John Ambulance uniform to provide first aid which I am glad to say was never called for. What reminded me to google the Queens was because tonight I have been to a live show of Oklahoma in Northampton which I am sure made a big impression on me aged 11 on the Queens stage. I never did see Happiness Ahead the Mildred Crossley shows because I helped out at the nearby rival entertainment – the outdoor Arena Follies starring Charlie Parsons, Eddie Stacey and Mabel Dare and troupes of pierrots. Most shows were cancelled due to rain! Whenever I return to Cleveleys I walk along the prom alone and burst into my old world of song doing poor impressions of Joseph Locke and others recalling those days of my youth on the now defunct arena.

HJHill on October 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Further to my last contribution: it looks like “Happiness Ahead” ran at the Queen’s Theatre on Cleveleys prom for the 1949 to 1960 seasons. The time at the Odeon (renamed Orion) was 1961 to 64. The summer show then transferred to Fleetwood and the Odeon/Orion continued on bingo. Perhaps someone could confirm those years.

HJHill on July 6, 2012 at 7:50 am

Sorry Ian, there’s an error. The Odeon was renamed Orion when it became a theatre. That name continued for the bingo.

There had been an art deco theatre called the Queen’s Theatre on Cleveleys promenade, which ran summer season shows entitled “Happiness Ahead”. The producer was Mildred Crossley. She took over the Odeon (I believe building works were needed for stage use) and renamed it Orion. Whether it was bought outright or leased, I do not know. She has the credit for giving Roy Castle early career employment. He trod the boards at the Queen’s Theatre, playing the trumpet and doing Jerry Lewis impressions.

I saw the Rank film “The Admirable Chrichton” (with Kenneth Moore and Cecil Parker; released 1957) at the Odeon. It may be a false memory but I recall the front stalls seats being on a reverse-rake floor (sloping up, from a cross aisle, towards the screen).

On the blank vertical step wall, where the auditorium bulk dropped down to the flat roof over the screen/stage, there used to be large painted letters greeting tram passengers arriving from Blackpool. THE ODEON WELCOMES YOU TO CLEVELEYS.

woody on July 12, 2010 at 5:38 am

shocking pictures of the buildings collapse here
View link

Ian on July 10, 2010 at 1:47 am

Orion Bingo closed recently, and in June of 2010 the building was demolished – the frontage collapsing across the road during the process.

Two photos from 1992 here:–



Ian on August 9, 2007 at 4:47 am

Another exterior view here:–

View link

theshanks on March 21, 2005 at 2:00 pm

Hi, I live in Cleveleys and I just came across your website. Being a student surveyor, found it very interesting as im just doing my first pro survey on a art deco cafe around the corner with a damp problem. I can get you pictures of the current site which I will send through soon and I,ll also look for some historical information and images.
David shanks