67 High Street,
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Firms: Webb & Gray
Previous Names: Central Cinema
The Central Cinema was opened on 16th May 1929 with the German silent film “Love’s Crucifixion” (Liebesholle) staring Ala Suminska. It was built and operated by an independent company. Designed by Dudley based architectural firm Webb & Gray, it had a mix of Neo Classical and the (by then) new Art Deco styles. Seating was provided in stalls and a horseshoe shaped balcony. The Central Cinema was equipped with a Compton 3Manual/10Ranks organ, which was opened by organist John Howlett.
In around May 1937, it was taken over by the Oscar Deutsch chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. and was re-named Odeon in January 1938.
The Compton organ was removed in 1958. The Odeon was closed by the Rank Organisation on 16th June 1973 with Warren Beatty in “Bonnie and Clyde” and “Blind Terror”. The cinema was converted into Stringers department store. It later became Owen & Owen department store. This closed in 1990 and the building was demolished. A Wilkinsons store was built on the site.
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