Odeon (Town Centre)

(15 of 18)

41-43 Buttermarket Street, Warrington, W1A 2LY.

Opened 11 Jan 1937. Closed 27 Aug 1994 and demolished.

3 screens. 1,635 seats.

An original Odeon built for Oscar Deutsch’s chain, Odeon Theatres Ltd. The Odeon opened on 11 January 1937 with George Arlis in “East Meets West”. Seating was provided for 1,059 in the stalls and 576 in the circle. The building was designed in the art deco style by John Gomersall. 

It was closed in early-1968 when it was damaged by a fire. Repairs were made and it reopened in May 1968.

In 1979/80 the Odeon was converted into a three-screen cinema with 576 seats in the former circle and 291 and 196 in the two screens formed out of the rear stalls.

It re-opened on 14 September 1980 with “Empire Strikes Back”, “Damien I & II” and “The Final Countdown”.

Closed on 27 August 1994, the Odeon was demolished and a Yates’s Wine Lodge was built on the site.

Yates’s Wine Lodge was refurbished in February 2010 by JD Wetherspoon and renamed The Looking Glass.

It is commonly reported that ODEON stood for Oscar Deutsch
Entertains Our Nation. 

But according to thefreedictionary.com, an Odeon was ‘a kind of theatre in ancient Greece, smaller than the dramatic theatre and roofed over, in which poets and musicians submitted their works to the approval of the public, and contended for prizes; – hence, in modern usage, the name of a hall for musical or dramatic performances.’

I leave it up to you the reader to make your own mind up.

Contributed by Ken RoeAdditional information by Gordon Gandy.  Many thanks to Peter Spilsbury for use of his photo.