Rochdale Road and Clerke Street,
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Firms: Harry W. Weedon Partnership
Styles: Art Deco
Built for and operated by Oscar Deutsch’s chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. the Odeon opened on 16th November 1936 with Ned Sparks in “Two’s Company”.
Architect Harry Weedon (assisted by P.J. Price) designed a rather ‘boxy’ building that had a square tower feature over the entrance which was covered in cream faiance tiles. Inside the auditorium the Art Deco styling consisted of a series of troughs that went up the walls and over the ceiling which contained concealed lighting. Seating was provided for 1,027 in the stalls and 460 in the balcony.
The Odeon closed on 24th October 1981 with Mel Gibson in “Mad Max”. It lay unused for a while until it was converted into a nightclub, known as the Arena by 1988 and in recent years it has been a nightclub named Sol/Viva which closed in 2010. In August 2011, the building was empty and unused, with a notice warning it was ‘an unsafe structure’. Demolition work began in October 2013. The new Vue 10-screen multiplex opened in July 2010, located in The Rock Shopping Center opposite the former Odeon.
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