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Report - - Portsmouth Odeon, Screen 1 - November 2014 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Portsmouth Odeon, Screen 1 - November 2014



Oxygen Thief

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#1
Explored with Speed, Clebby, Dave W and Joe.

A bit of history and picture from Cinema Treasures...

One of the original Oscar Deutsch chain of Odeon Theatres. The Portsmouth Odeon opened on 14th December 1936 with Sydney Howard in “Chickâ€￾. 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 and by August 2013 was in use as a Sainsbury’s supermarket. The auditoriums remain unusued.
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Having explored the so called'mini-screens' that were flooded several years ago, I didn't expect to find myself back here any time soon. Speed wanted to try and access the former balcony which then became 'Screen 1'. Eventually we worked it out and actually it was well worth it...

The hideous blue auditorium, once a beautifully decorated balcony...

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Doors for the Projection Room and Rewind Room...

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Which were actually the same room now...

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Rectifier Room...

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and finally the view from the main cinema building, back towards the entrance...

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dweeb

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#3
Fantastic, really well shot too. I don't think 'cloudy' white balance would have made a dent in that blue!!

The rectifiers are a little new for my taste though ;)
 

Oxygen Thief

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#6
Yeah it does stink down there more than ever and it's flooded more than ever. Also, we were on the floor / ceiling above that. Imagine falling through !
 

UrbanCreed

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#7
It's been so long since I was last there. The sewage problem is out of hand in that lower screen now. I've been trying to access the top screen for quite some time. Maybe it's about time I went back and gave it another shot.
 

ColdNeverBotheredMeAnyway

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#8
So is the Sainsburys just in what was the lobby of the cinema or did the add extra bits or take parts of the auditorium? Will the auditorium be knocked down eventually? Sorry for all the questions!
 

Oxygen Thief

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#11
So is the Sainsburys just in what was the lobby of the cinema or did the add extra bits or take parts of the auditorium? Will the auditorium be knocked down eventually? Sorry for all the questions!
Sainsburys is just in the lobby, it's now disconnected from the rest of the building, which appears to be all derelict.
 

urbanchaser

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28DL Full Member
#14
Wow spent a lot of my child hood here.. Love to go back and have a look around. My mum only live's around the corner so nice and local for me to visit too :-)
 

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