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Odeon Cinema

A Grade II Listed Building in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham

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Latitude: 52.5566 / 52°33'23"N

Longitude: -1.8258 / 1°49'33"W

OS Eastings: 411904

OS Northings: 295435

OS Grid: SP119954

Mapcode National: GBR 3JD.DD

Mapcode Global: WHCH7.XZQX

Entry Name: Odeon Cinema

Listing Date: 18 November 1998

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1271848

English Heritage Legacy ID: 471690

Location: Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, B72

County: Birmingham

Civil Parish: Sutton Coldfield

Built-Up Area: Sutton Coldfield

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Maney

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham

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Sutton Coldfield

Listing Text

(East side)
Odeon Cinema


Cinema. 1935-6 by Cecil Clavering of Harry Weedon and Partners for Oscar Deutsch and the Odeon group of companies. Steel frame clad in brown brick with faience tiling to front facade, fin and staircase tower. Banded decoration to sides; flat roofs. Freestanding cinema on prominent corner site, originally having double-height foyer, staircase and double-height auditorium with balcony on naturally falling site, each defined as a separate block in a complex, carefully massed and expressionistic composition inspired by Schoffler, Shloenbach and Jacobi's Titania Palast, Berlin of 1928. Four double doors to entrance on curved corner, under projecting curved canopy. To left a tall advertising fin, now truncated, originally announcing `CINEMA'. To left again, large double-height foyer expressed by four tall metal windows each of two bays with square paned glazing. Smaller windows over emergency exit on curved corner and down sides, where faience tiling continues at ground floor level to final emergency door. Beyond is vertical brick ribbed decoration, with horizontal bands at cornice level. Horizontal brick banding on remaining elevations. The cinema is unusual in sustaining its interest through high quality brickwork on all elevations. INTERIOR. Double-height foyer now has false ceiling, but original decoration survives above. The bottom of the principal staircase with low curved balustrades in Art Deco style, with brass rails. Auditorium now subdivided but original proscenium arch survives, as does front barrier to orchestra pit. Sidewall decoration of streamlined `go faster' mouldings serving ventilation grilles. Principal screen in former circle survives well, with original textured and moulded ceilings. Many doors and staircase mouldings characteristic of the Odeon house style. Odeon interiors were always simple and streamlined, for Oscar Deutsch adopted a deliberate policy of concentrating his finances on producing a spectacular exterior in a distinctive house idiom, with a comfortable and modern interior and excellent films. Sutton Coldfield was the first purpose-built Odeon in the mature house style derived from the Titania Palast; it spawned a number of imitations, at York, Harrogate and Scarborough, which are already listed. This style was first adopted by Clavering at the Beacon, Kingstanding, Birmingham, which was acquired by Oscar Deutsch in the course of construction, and led to Clavering and Weedon being commissioned to design three more Odeons, at Sutton Coldfield, Scarborough and Colwyn Bay (demolished). Clavering left to join the Civil Service, but Robert Bullivant copied his adopted idiom for Odeon thereafter. Sutton Coldfield is thus, historically, perhaps the most important single cinema in the development of the Odeon house style. Although it has lost the top of its central fin, it otherwise survives remarkably completely. Sources: Dennis Sharp, The Picture Palace, London, Hugh Evelyn, 1969, pp.138-135 David Atwell, Cathedrals of the Movies, London, Architectural Press, 1979, pp.147-8 Rosemary Clegg, Odeon, Amber Valley, 1985 Richard Gray, Cinemas in Britain, London, Lund Humphries, 1996, pp.91-2

Listing NGR: SP1190495435

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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