7 Barking Road,
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Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Odeon Theatre
Located in the east London district of East Ham. Built on the site of the Boleyn Electric Theatre (1910). (which has its own page on Cinema Treasures) It was demolished to build this new Odeon Theatre for the Oscar Deutsch chain. It opened on 18th July 1938 with Max Miller in “Thank Evans”. It was designed in a sleek Art Deco style by noted cinema architect Andrew Mather, assisted by Keith P. Roberts and the original seating capacity was for 2,212; 1,418 in the stalls and 794 in the balcony.
During the mid-1960’s it underwent an ill-fated ‘modernisation’ (known as the ‘Zing’ treatment) which removed most of the auditorium decoration. It continued as the Odeon, East Ham until it was closed by the Rank Organisation on 31st October 1981 with Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”.
After laying boarded up and un-used for 14 years it was taken over by an independent operator who sub-divided the auditorium into three screens and it re-opened as the Boleyn Cinema in late-1995 screening Bollywood films. The main screen in the former balcony still had its original 794 seating capacity. The two screens located in the rear stalls area each had seating capacities of 270. It was closed in early-2014 to convert the former twin screens in the stalls into a banquet hall, and the former balcony was converted into two screens which opened early-2015.
It was closed on March 16 2020 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. It was decided it would not re-open and planning permission had been approved to demolish and build flats and retail on the site. However, in July 2021 the former stalls seating area was in use as a church and the cinemas in the former circle seating area had re-opened screening Bollywood films. This was very short lived as the Covid-19 pandemic continued and all activities in the building closed. In late-October 2022 there was blue hoardings surrounding the building which looked like demolition was imminent. It was demolished in December 2022.
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