Odeon Marble Arch

10 Edgware Road,
London, W2 2EN

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Odeon Theatres Ltd., Rank Organisation

Firms: T.P. Bennett & Son

Nearby Theaters

Odeon Marble Arch

The Odeon Marble Arch opened on 2nd February 1967 with Zero Mostel in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”. This was a lavish (for the time) replacement of the previous magnificent Atmospheric style Regal/Odeon on the same site (which has its own page on Cinema Treasures). It had a massive curved screen (75 feet wide x 30 feet high) and seeing a 70mm print here was stunning. The original seating capacity was for 1,360 in stalls and circle levels.

The new Odeon Marble Arch was part of a much larger development on the site which included shops and an office tower.

The auditorium was at first floor level with retail outlets occupying the ground floor. The walls were open panels with curtaining behind lit in different colours. On 21st March 1967 saw the World Premiere of “The Honey Pot” starring Rex Harrison. On 4th May 1967 a Gala British Premiere was held for “The Professionals”. On October 16, 1967 the Royal World Premiere of “Far from the Madding Crowd” was attended by HRH Princes Margaret. On 22nd December 1969 the Royal Charity Premiere of “Hello Dolly” was attended by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

Sadly, the Odeon closed rather suddenly in September 1996 and the auditorium was carved up into five small screens. Re-opening on 3rd January 1997, screen 1 in the front stalls area with 254 seats, 2 (119 seats) and 3 (173 seats) are the former rear stalls under the balcony, whilst 4 and 5 are in the balcony with 229 and 239 seats respectively which reduced the total seating capacity to 1,014 + wheelchair space.

It was a victim of being just outside the West End area and consequently this very fine cinema was, for all intents and purposes, effectively ruined.

In November 2014 plans were proposed to demolish the cinema and its adjoining office block. These were approved in early-2016, and the Odeon was closed quietly without any announcement on 8th May 2016. Plans approved were to build a new 6-screen basement cinema in the new building on the site. Demolition of the office and retail portion of the building began in late-May 2016 and the cinema was demolished in October 2016. In May 2022 it was announced that the planned 6-screen replacement cinema have been scrapped and a possible use for the space could be for an art gallery.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 80 comments)

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on June 3, 2018 at 9:39 am

Recall watching 70mm presentations of Aliens and Terminator 2 at the old Odeon, Marble Arch back in the early 90’s.

Those were the days!

Lionel
Lionel on October 5, 2020 at 11:12 am

Yet other pictures of the OMA when it opened. It’s the first time I see the auditorium photographed under that angle, and how the foyer was back then.

Side view of the stalls

Refreshment kiosk on the first floor

rivest266
rivest266 on May 19, 2021 at 9:12 pm

Reopened with 5 screens on January 3rd, 1997. Another ad posted.

Ian
Ian on September 8, 2021 at 12:40 am

The replacement building, nearing completion in August 2021:- MARBLE ARCH PLACE

Lionel
Lionel on September 8, 2021 at 8:42 am

The new building shape is similar to that of the former Regal…

Lionel
Lionel on September 9, 2021 at 11:24 am

18-minute-long footage from 1989 exploring the Odeon Marble Arch: street, foyer, projection booth, stalls and circle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCKDStXcP1U

CF100
CF100 on September 20, 2021 at 4:19 pm

Similar shape it may well be… but lacking in elegance or proportion.

CF100
CF100 on December 27, 2021 at 12:51 pm

Plans for the replacement Odeon Marble Arch are available within the premises licence, issued in July 2020:

Premises Licence.

These reveal a 5 screen basement cinema to be branded “Odeon Luxe and Dine.” Seating is shown as all-recliner.

Seat counts:

  • Screen 1: 46
  • Screen 2: 30
  • Screen 3: 30
  • Screen 4: 46
  • Screen 5: 46

Screen widths all look to be under 30ft. with some of the auditoria being relatively deep.

This clearly is a very different scheme to the replacement Odeon Luxe West End. Hardly unexpected; but anyone who may have hoped for at least a tenuous nod to the heyday of large format super cinema wonderment is, alas, out of luck.

CF100
CF100 on May 28, 2022 at 12:54 pm

Planning permission (application submitted April 2021) for an alternative use of the cinema demise granted as below:

21/02728/FULLH - Use of part ground, part lower ground and part basement as an art gallery (Class F1).

A market report by CBRE (a “Global Commercial Real Estate Services” company) is included in the Documents, which says:

“[There has been a] lack of commercial proposals from rival operators since Odeon announced its reasons for not proceeding with the development. Ultimately, a site of this scale in this location is no longer in keeping with current operator demands; an issue exacerbated still further by the 2020 outbreak of COVID-19 and the effects that this has had on the sector.”

In view of the Premises Licence being issued in July 2020, per my previous post, one can only assume that this is a direct consequence of COVID.

Thankfully, not a great loss–Odeon’s scheme, after all, was no compensation for the ruination and subsequent demolition of the majestic piece of modernism that was the “large format” flagship cinema which once stood proud on this site.

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