Nick Horner’s article in last week’s Great Barr Observer about the virtual reconstruction of Kingstanding’s former Odeon cinema will be of interest to those odd critters like me who have a weakness for magnificent old cinema buildings. I don’t know what the technical term for this is, but I suppose you could call us necrocinephiles.
Anyhow, I posted about this recently, but in the meantime Nick has since done some proper journalistic legwork and uncovered some additional information. King’s Visualisation Lab (KVL) created their VR Odeon Kingstanding in 2003 and their plan was to eventually construct a comprehensive database of virtually reconstructed British cinema buildings. Unfortunately, one of KVL’s partners pulled out and the database has been on hold ever since.
According to Martin Blazeby, researcher and 3D modeller at KVL, the design team used eye witness accounts and even visited the art deco cinema-turned-bingo hall to take paint samples: “We found a specific type of green, Odeon green, which had been painted over when the cinema became a bingo venue.”
If you happen to be a well-heeled necrocinephile with philanthropic tendencies, then this project needs you. You can contact them via this link.
Here’s a couple of pics of the Kingstanding Odeon in its heyday. Firstly, an exterior shot courtesy of English Heritage’s John Maltby Collection:
And here’s the ornate lobby from Digital Handsworth: