Oscar Deutsch Entertained Our Neighbourhood

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Oscar Deutsch Entertained Our Neighbourhood

Odeon Kingstanding
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:

Odeon Kingstanding
And here’s the ornate lobby from Digital Handsworth:


About the Author:

My name is Tom Lennon and I'm a freelance writer who specialises in humour at the geekier end of the pop culture spectrum. I'm based in Birmingham, UK, and my work has recently appeared in BuzzFeed and Time Out.


  1. Rol November 24, 2008 at 11:04 am

    Bradford has a similarly impressive disused Odeon. The Council have been trying for years to tear it down and replace it with something hideous (more in keeping with the rest of the city centre). There’s a campaign going to stop them doing this… but locals don’t hold out much hope.

  2. Tom November 24, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Hi Rol – just looked up the old Bradford Odeon on the Cinema Treasures website. Like many of these vintage picture palaces – and unlike the cookie-cutter designed multiplexes of today – its a fine looking building.

    According to Cinema Treasures: “Had it survived intact for just a few years more it would undoubtedly been listed and gained some redevelopment protection.”

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