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Jehovahs Witness Hall

A Grade II Listed Building in St Thomas's, Dudley

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.5128 / 52°30'46"N

Longitude: -2.0768 / 2°4'36"W

OS Eastings: 394885

OS Northings: 290546

OS Grid: SO948905

Mapcode National: GBR 4RD.JM

Mapcode Global: VH91B.Y3GJ

Entry Name: Jehovahs Witness Hall

Listing Date: 5 October 2000

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1385009

English Heritage Legacy ID: 485469

Location: Dudley, DY1

County: Dudley

Electoral Ward/Division: St Thomas's

Built-Up Area: Dudley (Dudley)

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Dudley St Edmund King and Martyr

Church of England Diocese: Worcester

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Listing Text

DUDLEY

SO9490NE CASTLE HILL
726/1/10029 Dudley
05-OCT-00 Jehovah's Witness Hall

GV II

Also Known As: Odeon Cinema, CASTLE HILL, Dudley

Former Odeon cinema. Opened 1937, architect Budge Reid of the Harry Weedon Partnership. Brick, with steel frame; foyer block clad in black and cream faience. Double-height auditorium with balcony, reached via foyer and staircases.

Symmetrical facade to Castle Hill in Moderne style. Five entrances to foyer in deep recesses. Wide curving canopy above entrances, over which are five ventilation apertures. Five deeply recessed vertical windows at first floor level surmounted by moulded canopy. Brick rear wall of auditorium behind foyer block, with rounded and channelled corners. Pitched roof hidden. Single-storey curving links either side also in faience. Return walls in plain stock brick.

Wind lobby - five sets of original glazed swing doors with acid-etched decoration. Pay box in centre facing outwards. Wide entrance foyer with stairs at either end leading to balcony. Three plaster saucer domes in ceiling with concentric mouldings.

Large double-height auditorium splayed out from proscenium. Shallow stage. Ceiling stepped down in arched lighting coves, with plain segmental ceiling over balcony. Continuous plaster mouldings on splay walls sweep to proscenium from last cove above balcony. Moderne style ventilating grilles on splay walls. Continuous moulding over proscenium and flanked by wings studded with roundels. Honeycomb design fibrous plaster grille in ceiling cove nearest balcony and again at high level in ground floor rear wall. Original standard `Odeon' style doors with streamlined mouldings over glazing panel in rear ground floor wall, right hand proscenium splay wall and rear balcony wall. Wide vomitory entrance at centre of balcony. An atypical feature is the greater number of rows (nine) in the front of the balcony compared to the rear (seven) - the reverse of the usual arrangement.

Included as an almost complete example of typical Odeon cinema of the 1930's, with no subdivision of the auditorium or alteration of its floor levels. The Odeons were style-leaders in cinema design of the time. The Odeon became a Jehovah's Witness Hall in 1976.

Literature:

Ned Williams, Cinemas of the Black Country, p.147-9, Urlaia Press, 1982
Rosemary Clegg (editor), Odeon, p.155, Mercia Cinema Society, 1985
Allen Eyles, Oscar and the Odeons, Focus on Film No.22 p.43 & 54, Autumn 1975
Dennis Sharp, The Picture Palace, p.135 & 144, Hugh Evelyn, 1969
Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinemas, p.172, Editions du Moniteur, 1981
Richard Gray, Cinemas in Britain, p.138, Lund Humphries, 1996


Listing NGR: SO9488590546

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