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Odeon South Norwood


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#1 Woodvale

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 10:17 PM

By the entrance to Blackhorse Lane tramstop, there's an old metal advertisement board headed with the name of the Odeon South Norwood.

I know this discussion board is pretty much focussed on West and Upper Norwood, but wonder whether any members know of the location of this cinema. I can't think of any building currently standing in South Norwood that might once have been a cinema.

A site called Odeon Cavalcade, http://mysite.wanado...cade/index.html, found by searching on Google, produced photos of numerous Odeon Cinemas, including a couple of the Regal in West Norwood (I'm not sure where that was either!), but nothing for South Norwood. The only other Google hits were for the Odeon Norwood somewhere in Australia, but I can't imagine they'd have had an advert on the Woodside/Addiscombe borders!

#2 Chris Doran

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 12:24 AM

Lifting that heavy Kelly's 1972 directory is doing wonders for my arm muscles :) The Odeon was in Station Road, SE25 (no number given). It's there in the 1939 'phone book too. No sign of a Regal in West Norwood, though.

#3 croesus

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 08:37 AM

Eric Chapman has some vivid memories of the Regal in the 30's on this very site. According to the cinematreasures.org forum it was demolished in 1981 to make way for the illustrious West Norwood B&Q. How ignominious...

#4 Chris Doran

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 09:43 AM

That locates it at 304 Norwood Road which in 1972 was "Top Rank Club (Bingo)". In the 1939 'phone book it is under "Gaumont British" rather than "Regal Cinema". No doubt experts on the history of cinemas can explain.

#5 jaw

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 05:16 PM

The south norwood odeon stood in station road SE25 appx where safeways was, it later became a Granada. there was also a cinema at the top of the high street by goat house bridge. this wee called the bug hutch

#6 Woodvale

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 09:30 PM

Thanks to those who responded :D

I'm amazed that the area managed to support two cinemas, even more so that neither was down Portland Road, which has always struck me as having more retail outlets than the High Street and therefore likely to attract more trade.

#7 jaw

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 05:36 PM

woodvale,
somewhere in the back of my mind I think there may have been a cinema down Portland Road, but I was then very young and maybe my mind is playing tricks. I do know though that there used to be a Theatre in Penge.

#8 nicniewart

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 05:12 PM

The Odeon was converted into the Safeway, now a Somerfield; the old cinema at Goat House Bridge on the south west side is still standing and is now called David House or some such hallelujah gospel hall- the ground floor was second hand furniture until recently. This was the fabled ASTORIA- two films- stay as long as you like- for 9d! (Four a half new pence for newcomers). And the program changed twice a week. The films were reruns -never first run that was for the Odeon and the Essoldo in Penge and the B&W films so rare to find on TV even today. I went every week with my father, sometimes twice a week, throughout the 50's. I distinctly remember seeing HOT CARS- which Halliwell doesn't even list. You learn just as much about film making from bad and not so good films as from good. It has stood me in good stead when it came to making commercials. Locally the Astoria may have been known as the FLEA PIT, but it served as my gateway into the world of dreams.

Getting forgetful in my old age- the cinema down Portland Road is opposite the Shell petrol station and looks weird even today with a white Indian palace cupola/ dome. It can only have been a cinema. The Essoldo in Penge was like a battleship- with a Wurlitzer organ, a Swiss Admiral commissionaire outside and white painted edges to the steps. It was definitely the poshest cinema in the area. It also served as a theatre sometimes. The entrance was where Boots is now, and went on back to where Iceland is, joining the Burton menswear building- which is now the McDonalds- but the foundation stone is still there at pavement level- laid by none other than Montague Burton himself. There was an Odeon in South Norwood- where the Safeway, now Somerfield is now. There was also an Odeon in Penge where the Moon and Stars pub is, next to Sainsburys. There was an Odean and Granada not far from each other in Church Road, and the King's Hall in Beckenham- only the ABC at Beckenham roundabout has survived to be still a functioning cinema as the Odeon multiplex.
Nic Niewart

#9 bedazzled23

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 02:49 PM

Hi,
I found these 1930's images of South Norwood Odeon the other day.
I think they were taken at the time of opening.
I hope they are of use.

http://farm3.static....298ab306a_o.jpg

http://farm3.static....e2337b1eb_o.jpg

http://farm3.static....b8087ceb3_o.jpg

#10 Spoon

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 03:19 PM

How brilliant to see! Thanks. What a contrast that is with the view of the same spot today.

#11 Joe

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 10:06 PM

Was this in the road that the buses used to terminate/turn around. My ancient memory seems to recall the Nos. 12 and 68 terminating there abouts.

I have been trying to think was there a clock tower near the cinema. I can remember seeing a film I think in the late 60's when they had just had a new super duper sound system fitted - blew your brains out...

#12 Raykay

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 11:23 PM

196 buses terminated outside the station on that side, 197's terminated the other side in Clifford Road.

The clock tower is at the top of Station Road at the junction with High Street/Selhurst Road.