Mothballed Odeon

Former Odeon Cinema, Morecambe, Lancashire

Former Odeon Cinema, Morecambe, Lancashire

Two things intrigue me about the former Odeon Cinema, Morecambe.

Opened in 1937, it’s an absolutely typical product of Oscar Deutsch’s house-architects, the Harry Weedon partnership, featuring a Moderne fin-shaped tower and a quirky projecting exterior corridor, clad in brick and cream faience.  It seated 1,084 in the stalls and 476 in the circle:  http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/6067.

I’m puzzled that it stands some distance from the seafront, so that it was never part of the sequence of promenade crowd-pullers, the Alhambra, the Winter Gardens and the two piers, in the days when Morecambe attracted crowds.

It stands on Euston Road, near to the less prominent of Morecambe’s former two stations.

I’m also interested to know what state the interior is in.

It now earns its keep as a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom showroom for Homemakers 1st Stop:  http://www.thehomemakers.co.uk.

As soon as you walk in, through what would have been a side exit, it’s clear that you’re standing in the stalls, with the curve of the balcony overhead, but a suspended ceiling hides the auditorium space.

The lady behind the counter told me she’s never actually been in the circle, which is blocked off, but she’s been told that the projection box remains intact.

Long may it remain so.

For details of Mike Higginbottom’s lectures on seaside architecture, Away from it all:  the heritage of holiday resorts, Beside the Seaside:  the architecture of British coastal resorts, Blackpool’s Seaside Heritage and Yorkshire’s Seaside Heritage, please click here.

The 80-page, A4 handbook for the 2013 Lancashire’s Seaside Heritage tour, with text, photographs, maps and a reading list, is available for purchase, price £15.00 including postage and packing.  To view sample pages click here.  Please send a cheque, payable to Mike Higginbottom, to 63 Vivian Road, Sheffield, S5 6WJ.

 

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