Friday, March 01, 2013

Kernels of History - Glasgow's Odeon Cinema

With demolition imminent at Glasgow's Odeon Cinema on Renfield Street, a posting by the Urban Exploration Forums gives us snapshots of this one-time great institution. 

Once the busiest picture-house in the city, the Odeon was designed by architects Frank T. Verity & Samuel Beverly in the early 1930s. It was originally built as a single 2800-seater cinema and opened as the Paramount Theatre in 1934. The building was promptly snapped up by the Odeon chain and flourished as a popular music venue - the Beatles and the Rolling Stones both famously played here in its halcyon days! The cinema was divided into smaller screens in 1969-70, by which time the neon lights lighting-up the uber-cool curved entrance and bare brick walls were also gone. The history books may critique Odeon for stripping the building of its glamorous 30s interiors to bring it in line with the company's corporate image yet, thanks to the building's Grade B listed status, the Art Deco facade and entrance-hall should be retained. 

In the days before Cineworld's domination, the Odeon, for many, was the main place to queue around the block, waiting for the doors to open on the latest picture. Those doors may have closed to the public in 2006, the building due to be transformed into another office block, but the photographs will ensure its legacy is always shown.