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Report - Odeon Cinema, Preston - September 2014

Discussion in 'Theatres and Cinemas' started by urblex, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. urblex

    urblex 28DL Maverick
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    Been eyeing this place up for a while but it's in the middle of town & even at stupid o'clock that area is still full of club goers trying to make their way home. Anyway popped out to get some milk the other day & spotted some easy access, knew that i'd be kicking myself if i didn't use it before it gets sealed which has happened too many times before & luckily had my exploring stuff with me (have checked since & it has now been sealed). First solo explore in a while, nothing like a solo explore in the dark to get your heart racing & make you feel ALIVE! Was a bit wary at first because of the easy access & i've been told that homeless people used to sleep here. Didn't get any good shots of the main screen as i heard a BANG when i was in there & nearly legged it, managed to 'man up' telling myself it probably came from outside but still didn't want to stay in that spot, spent most of the time i was in that room trying to get a 28 shot. Was pleasantly surprised to see some of the things i've seen in other peoples photos have remained in the exact same position :D And not a lot of vandalism, the building seems to be doing a good job of destroying itself with most of the damage caused by general decay. Had trouble lighting the place up with my sub standard 'army torch' so got a lot of dark photos & used the flash on some but i quite like some of the dark ones and it gives a good impression of how dark it was inside. Tried to go back with Neizt but we got caught by the most responsive security ever, we were in there for less than a minute before they turned up, they were pretty sound to be fair & didn't even really give us a 'telling off', kindly showed us the CCTV camera that we had been spotted on & we were on our way disappointed & confused as to where the hell they came from.

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    History,
    Couldn't find a lot of history just a lot of stuff about a local action group wanting to restore the building to it's former glory, no offence to them but good luck with that... If i can find out anything else that's interesting/relevant i'll add it, If anyone else knows anything feel free to let me know...
    It opened in 1928 and only had one screen and a restaurant. By 1970 it had been renamed Odeon and the restaurant was turned into a second screen. There's also what looks like a nightclub called Clouds but the entrance was breezeblocked up (fucking breezeblocks again! :banghead).
    The cinema closed in 1992 and the building has remained derelict since then. The site was bought by entrepreneur Simon Rigby in 2011, who has just bought Preston Guild Hall saving it from closure (which is disappointing, was looking forward to exploring the Guild Hall). He's bought the Guild hall, tried to buy the monstrosity of a bus station to save it from much needed demolition (think someone else has put up the money to 'save' it now) but for some reason the cinema has just been left to rot...

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    Preston's filthiest hand dryer
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  2. neizt

    neizt Lazy Explorer
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    We have to go back at some point pal, nice report! Did you take these before we went?
     
  3. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    Nice report and pics, also, nice Behemoth jacket :thumb
     
  4. urblex

    urblex 28DL Maverick
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    Yeah mate took them the day before, could of got some well better shots but yeah hopefully i'll get them when/if we can get in again...

    Thanks man, lol yeah can't beat a bit of Behemoth :D
     
    #4 urblex, Oct 2, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
  5. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Well you finally made it in mate, well done :thumb

    I don"t know still not got a decent torch tut tut :)Trouble is we have no idea of size of the place ??

    I take it that CCTV camera was the same one that followed us around the building/street months ago ?
     
  6. oakley

    oakley 28DL Full Member
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    Cool report, well done, did my first alone explore as well the other day and yeah my heart was racing too! ha

    Respect for the Behemoth longsleeve :thumb
     
  7. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    Nicely done that, thought it was well sealed up :thumb

    BTW I like that 'monstrosity' of a bus station!!
     
  8. Paradox

    Paradox 28DL Regular User
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    Here you go a bit of history courtesy of cinematreasures.org:

    Provincial Cinematograph Theatres(PCT) opened the New Victoria Theatre in Church Street, Preston on 17th September 1928.

    It is a huge structure, PCT bought up an unfinished but largely complete cinema planned to open as the Coliseum and seat 900 and turned this auditorium into the crush hall! They then employed architect W. E. Trent to build a sumptuous cine/theatre behind the existing structure complete with full stage and cafe. There was seating for 1,450 in the stalls and 670 in the single balcony. The New Victoria was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2Manual/9Rank organ that was opened by Leslie J. Rogers.

    PCT were taken over by Gaumont and the cinema was re-named in 1952. It closed for sub-division in 1962 and reopened on 28th January 1963 with the circle extended forward to create a new (and much plainer) Odeon with 1,229 seats. The re-opening film was Norman Wisdom in On the Beat and was attended by film star Leslie Phillips and comedian Stanley Baxter. Odeon 2 was opened in 1970 using the former cafe space and seating 105. The stalls became a dance hall with a new fully sprung maple floor installed.


    And a bit about Clouds from some dude who goes by the name of newviccinema on Flickr and who posted on Blog Preston several years ago.

    The ballroom/Dance hall soon became a disco called Clouds with the entrance being via the old stalls stairs and foyer. I think after Clouds it was Easy Street and then Tokyo Jo's.Shortly after rebranding as Tokyo Joe's a new entrance was created on the site of a gentlemen's outfitters, as it is today. The cinema and nightclub operated side-by-side with strict monitoring of the noise levels affecting the auditorium with a decibel monitor/alarm. At this time the nightclub was rented space. The former New Vic Cafe on the first floor, above the entrance hall was converted to a second screen with seating for 101. This screen had only mono sound and a 'bath towel' screen.

    With rapidly falling admissions, due to the opening of the multiplex, closure was on the cards for the Odeon. Plans were drawn up to convert the entrance hall, foyer, screen two into five screens. The cinema closed its doors for the last time on 17th September 1992 (Guild Year) with a showing of Lawrence of Arabia. The building was quickly cleared of stock, useful equipment such as projectors, sound equipment and screens and abandoned. It was later sold to the then operators of the club.

    Sorry for hijacking your thread with the history - Im a geek what can I say! Nice effort though mate, wouldn't mind a mooch round here myself! Shame those damned CCTV cams got you busted on your follow up visit though- Church Street is full of em!
     
  9. UrbanDuck

    UrbanDuck Authorised Trespasser
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    like the photos, nice one on getting in.
     
  10. ZerO81

    ZerO81 Team Weasel
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    Least you now know how not to get caught as the security were kind enough to point out the camera too you.

    Brings back memories this place as I remember buying a Roger Rabbit action figure type thing back when i was a kid!
     
  11. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    That"s scary i bought the Jessica Rabbit one :laugh:laugh:laugh
     
  12. urblex

    urblex 28DL Maverick
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    Cheers mate yeah been going on about it for long enough, nah it was a different camera, looked like one that's just fixed on the same spot, as for the size it's pretty big!

    Thanks man, yeah it's a good feeling, where was your explore? It's ace that there's other Behemoth fans on here.

    Yeah it usually is pretty tight was a case of right place right time :) Each to their own i suppose, don't mind the bus station from the outside but inside it's horrible, well imo anyway.

    Thanks for adding this! Heard people talking about Tokyo Joe's before didn't realise it was there! I'll add the history to the report if that's ok?

    Yeah that's what we thought heheh... Wanted to ask where they came from but don't know if it would of gone down very well.
     
  13. Paradox

    Paradox 28DL Regular User
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    Yeah no probs add away :)
     
  14. urblex

    urblex 28DL Maverick
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    Nice one :) it's being awkward & won't let me do it right now :confused will have another go later... Thanks again.
     
  15. blackcat

    blackcat 28DL Member
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    Cool report, well done
     
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