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Report - - Odeon Cinema, Portsmouth - Nov 2014 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Odeon Cinema, Portsmouth - Nov 2014



Seffy

Bally up!
Regular User
#1
Odeon Cinema, London Road, Portsmouth

WhoDaresWins/END-PROC/Seffy

One of the original Oscar Deutsch chain of Odeon Theatres. The Portsmouth Odeon opened on 14th December 1936 with Sydney Howard in "Chick". It was the largest and most expensive Andrew Mather designed Odeon of that year. Total seating was provided for 1,824, with 1,224 in stalls and 600 in balcony.

It has an impressive monolithic tower frontage in cream faience with vertical green bands and a roof of red Spanish tiles. The auditorium's ornate decoration included tall murals on side walls depicting film subjects.

A two week closure from 10th September 1960 for modernisation, including installation of 70mm with new wide screen and proscenium in front of original. Then began a glorious period through the 1960's of almost uninterrupted Roadshow presentations (with the Gaumont almost opposite taking the Rank first-run weekly release).

Tripling took place on 26th August 1973, with 573 seats in screen 1 (former balcony) and 132 in each of the mini-screens located in the rear stalls under the balcony. In 1990 a fourth screen was added in the former front stalls area and a new screen was installed in screen 1. Further refurbishment has taken place since then and the current seating is 1. 631, 2. 229, 3. 179, 4. 259.

In 2007 the Freehold on the building was sold by Odeon Theatres Ltd and after a few false roumors of closure, the final performances were held on 10th January 2008. Demolition is possibly the final act, still to be played out.....but, in December 2008, the foyer was in use as a OJ's Discount Store. The auditoriums remain unusued.
On a little mini trip down South, the Bristol massive decided to take a trip to a cinema that had recently popped up on the radar again. This was explored back in 2009/10 by various active explorers at the time, but not much has cropped up since. It's clear, as it often is, how much water/nature has taken over since it closed, and even compared to old photos from those past trips, but was still well worth the detour in my opinion.

Despite the many funky smells, rotting floors, squeezing through holes that probably shortened our lives and the vast amount of stagnant water, this was not bad as far as cinemas go. The first screen we came across (screen 4) was almost entirely flooded and not really worth much time. It was through this screen that we were able to gain access to the other parts, which is where the fun began. Getting from screen 1 into the two smaller screens was a right pain in the backside (literally), but we managed it after a bit of lateral thinking.

There are 4 screens altogether, and whilst all being rather samey, they had their differences too. A substantial amount of junk had been dumped in screen 2, and it was clear that water was starting to make it's way from the flooded screen at the front into screens 3/4. At one point, I think Sainsburys planned to use the lower part of the cinema, as there was signage displaying their logos/fonts etc, but apparently they gave up!

Cheers to OT for the heads up too.

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Screen 1

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Projection room

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Screen 2

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Screen 3

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Eh?

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ColdNeverBotheredMeAnyway

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#10
Seeing reports like this makes me sort of grateful that my local cinema in Fareham closed before they could triple it and ruin a beautiful auditorium in the process. I wonder how sound proof they made them, can't imagine it would be great from the evidence in the pics. Nice to see the odd speaker is there, but I guess it will be stolen before long. I wonder if they could open just screen one as an art house type cinema, or in a dream world open it all up again and have a 70mm IMAX (rather than the lieMAX they have in Southampton.

Ss much as I like Vue cinema in Portsmouth they don't even bother to move the screen mesh when the film is made in 2.39:1 so it makes it look like a temporary set up and someone is showing it on a wall :s anyway I am going way off topic sorry ...
 

Seffy

Bally up!
Regular User
#13
Here's a shot I took inside, I found another way round the front..
Good pic that mate. Yes, there is another way in from the front, granted we didn't find it until we'd nearly done the entire place. It is a nicer way into the building, but getting to that 'point' isn't exactly discreet :D
 

John Gent

28DL Member
28DL Member
#14
Good pic that mate. Yes, there is another way in from the front, granted we didn't find it until we'd nearly done the entire place. It is a nicer way into the building, but getting to that 'point' isn't exactly discreet :D
Thanks, haha I found the way in first time, but we turned around at the stairs thinking it was nothing and went round back spent an hour there trying to climb up pipes, then me throwing myself through the worlds smallest window to find it was nothing but a flooded dead end..
That shot is mega mate :-)
Thankyou! :)
 

Seffy

Bally up!
Regular User
#15
Thanks, haha I found the way in first time, but we turned around at the stairs thinking it was nothing and went round back spent an hour there trying to climb up pipes, then me throwing myself through the worlds smallest window to find it was nothing but a flooded dead end..
We too had a slight altercation with some pipes at the back, before we realised how stupid we'd been :p: It's a nice little maze this building, but you can see the whole thing with some lateral thinking.
 

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