Odeon Dudley

22 Castle Hill,
Dudley, DY1 4QQ

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Odeon Theatres Ltd., Rank Organisation

Architects: Budge Reid, Harry W. Weedon

Firms: Harry W. Weedon Partnership

Functions: Church

Styles: Art Deco

Nearby Theaters

Odeon Dudley

Located in Dudley in the Black Country part of the West Midlands. The Odeon is on Castle Hill, directly opposite the entrance to Dudley Zoo and the (now demolished) Plaza Cinema and the Dudley Hippodrome Theatre (both have their own pages on Cinema Treasures). The Odeon Theatre was built for and operated by Oscar Deutsch’s chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. It opened on 28th July 1937 with Merle Oberon in “Beloved Enemy”. Designed by architect Harry Weedon who was assisted by Budge Reid from the architectural firm Harry Weedon Partnership.

It is designed in an Art Deco design typical of Odeon Theatres being built at that time. The auditorium was illuminated by deeply curved plaster troughs which cross the ceiling and extend onto the sidewalls, each one containing concealed lighting. Seating was provided for 1,234 in the stalls and 642 in the balcony.

The Odeon led an uneventful life, becoming part of the Rank Organisation when J. Arthur Rank took over Odeon Theatre’s.

It closed on 22nd February 1975 with Ron Moody in “Oliver” and the Rank release films were transferred to the Plaza Cinema across the road, which was re-named Odeon.

The Odeon was sold to the International Bible Students Association. By 1977 it was in use as a church. The current occupants Jehovah’s Witnesses carried out a major refurbishment of the building which they now use as an Assembly Hall.

In October 2000, the former Odeon was designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 11, 2006 at 2:05 pm

Two exterior photographs of the Odeon Dudley taken in October 1949:
View link
View link

A close up view taken in 1969:
View link

woody on January 11, 2006 at 3:10 pm

Heres another view, showing how little the building has changed, taken around 1991 when I was a manager at the nearby UCI multiplex
View link

HornerJack on January 12, 2006 at 4:01 am

Ken Roe – Thanks for adding these cinemas. This Odeon looks like a great venue. The exterior Art Deco design is fine in its understatement. Churches are great tenants for old cinema treasures. Ironic that in the old days, movie theaters were a target for many Christian denominations!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 22, 2006 at 12:12 pm

Here is an October 1965 photograph I took while I was the Assistant Manager of the Odeon. “The Guns of Navarone” was the film playing that week:
View link

bluejuice on February 18, 2006 at 5:08 pm

i am researching my family history, and i have found out that my great grandfather george albert richardson was the manager of an odeon cinema in the birmingham area around the 1930’s i would love to see it but i am having troble fing out which one i suspect it may be dudley does anyone know how i might find out for sure . many thanks

Ian on January 1, 2007 at 7:03 am

Another shot of the exterior, this time from 1995:–


Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 22, 2008 at 11:36 pm

A photograph from October 2007:
View link

SteveSidaway on February 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm

I remember going to the closing night, the poor usherettes were all in tears…!

ODEONesque on August 15, 2021 at 9:56 pm

OK it`s not a cinema any more but you have to admire the wonderful restoration job done by the JWs.

Mike_Blakemore on August 17, 2021 at 11:14 am

Just a thought Harry Weedon never designed a Cinema Th person credited as assisting him Did it. Weedon designed Houses. He prepared budgets for the Shar Prospectus in that Odeon Company. The Weedon Practice never designed anything until Robert Bullivant became head designer for the Practice.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.