Odeon Camden Town
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Odeon Cinemas Group (Official)
Operated by: Odeon Cinemas Group
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Gaumont Palace Regents Park, Gaumont Camden Town, Gate Cinema, Parkway Kings Cinema, Parkway Regency Cinema
Located in the northwest London inner city suburb of Camden Town. The Gaumont Palace Regents Park opened 25th January 1937 with Paul Robson in “Show Boat” and James Dunn in “The Two Fisted Gentleman” plus the GB Revels on stage. Built by the Gaumont British Theatres chain as a 2,742 seat, super luxury theatre with full stage facilities, the proscenium was 44 feet wide and the stage 31 feet deep. There were 12 dressing rooms for the artistes and a café/restaurant was provided for the convenience of patrons. The architects were William E. Trent, W. Sydney Trent and Daniel Mackay. The auditorium was wide and decorated with horizontal bands of colour on the walls under a stepped ceiling containing very pendulous light fittings. The screen opening had large backlit grilles with a metal meshwork in front. The Compton 4Manual/10Rank organ was opened by Terence Casey and was on a platform which emerged through an archway at the side of the stage rather than up through the orchestra pit.
The Gaumont Palace, Regents Park was renamed Gaumont Camden Town (dropping the Palace name and advertising itself in its actual location in Camden Town) very soon after opening. In 1961 it hosted a Top Rank Bingo Club on Sunday afternoons. It became an Odeon in 1964 ahead of alterations which created a Top Rank Bingo Club in the former stalls which had its own separate entrance on the side road. A new 1,198 seat cinema in the circle opened in 1968.
The Odeon closed on 29th September 1979. It was reopened (reduced in size to 434 seats) as the Gate Cinema from 1980 to 1982. Re-opened again, restored to 1,000 seats as the Parkway Kings Cinema in 1983 with another screen being added in the former restaurant area (later used as a projectionist training area), known as the Parkway Regency (90 seats). Both were operating very successfully but were closed on 28th February 1987 with “The Fly”. It later reopened but closed on 28th August 1993 when the lease was suddenly terminated by Odeon Theatres. They had decided to take back the building and created a 5-screen multiplex in the space, opening on 11th July 1997 as the Odeon. The screens now seat; 403, 88, 226, 88 and 105. It was the first cinema in the Odeon Cinemas Group. chain to receive the new ‘Odeon-Fanatical About Film’ signage which was a see-through vertical sign which read ‘Odeon’ correctly when viewed from the busy Camden High Street, but read backwards when viewed approaching the cinema from Parkway. Eventually it received a new enclosed sign which could be read from both directions.
In early-September 2023 it was announced that the Mecca Bingo Club in the former stalls would be closing. Proposals have been made to convert the space into an immersive live theatre and/or a home for the Secret Cinema.
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