7 Barking Road,
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Boleyn Cinema (Official)
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’ 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 has its original 794 seating capacity. The two screens located in the rear stalls area each have 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 has now been converted into two screens which opened early-2015.
It was closed on March 16 2020 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. It has been decided it will not re-open and planning permission has been approved to demolish and build flats and retail on the site. However, in July 2021 the former stalls seating area is in use as a church and the cinema in the former circle seating area has re-opened screening Bollywood films.
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