Odeon Bilston

41 Lichfield Street,
Bilston, WV14 0AJ

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Odeon Theatres Ltd., Rank Organisation, Wood's Picture Halls Ltd.

Architects: Archibald Hurley Robinson

Functions: Banquet Hall, Community Center

Styles: Renaissance Revival

Previous Names: Wood's New Picture Palace, Wood's Palace Cinema, Palace Cinema

Nearby Theaters

Odeon Bilston

The Wood family had long been associated with film exhibition in the Black Country and had operated films in Bilston Town Hall from 1910 when it was called Wood’s Palace.

They built the New Wood’s Picture Palace opposite the Town Hall which opened on 17th November 1921 with Mary Alden in “The Old Nest”.

Noted architect Archibald Hurley Robinson designed the building and Val Prince designed the interior decoration. It had seating in stalls and circle levels and had a barrelled ceiling, panels on the walls containing murals and a mural each side of the proscenium opening depicting song and dance. It was equipped with a large stage, a cafĂ© and a billiard room. Wood’s Palace Cinema screened its first ‘talkie’ on 14th October 1929 when Pauline Frederick in “On Trial” hit the screen.

The Palace Cinema was leased to Oscar Deutsch from 2nd September 1936 and joined his ever expanding Odeon Theatres circuit. It was re-named Odeon from 30th September 1937 and the Rank Organisation were operating it when it closed on 22nd February 1964 with Peter Sellers in “Heavens Above”.

It was converted into a Top Rank Bingo Club and in 1971 it became a Surewin Bingo. In 1982 it became a Cascade Bingo Hall and was refurbished, the balcony was sealed off and a false ceiling was inserted from the front of the balcony across to the proscenium. The stage was also sealed off. Bingo ended in 1999 and the owner of the carpet shop next door purchased the building and opened it as a multi-purpose centre catering for the mainly Asian community called the Imperial Palace Club on 17th November 1999. Plans were made to restore the building to some of its original splendour. In May 2005, it came under new management and became the Imperial Banqueting Suite.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Imtryin on April 4, 2008 at 7:30 am

I used to live in this very building!!! My dad was the manager when it was i think coral\Gala about 1985. the living quaters were upstatirs, their were two sets of steps, the first one leading to the living space and the second leading to the double doors onto the balcony. My dad never let us go up them stairs, he said it was dangerous, so we never did, untill one day! from the outside, the big semi circular windows was my dads bedroom, (very big room) it included the small round winow aswell, the two rectangular windows were the kitchen. when you walked up the first flight of steps, in front of you were to big wooden doors with ‘managers office’ written across the top, (these were locked i think and at this time led into my dads bedroom). One sunday afternnon (bingo wasnt played sunday afternoon then) we were bored so my dad got the keys and led us up the stairs to the balcony, we walked on and i remember feeling like we were in a different building! all the original seating remained, carpet (what was left) and most of the decortative plaster, very impressive as i remember but unfortunatley too young to appreciate. we also went up into the old projector room very spooky! I have never seen pictures of the inside as it was when it was a cinema, id love to see some if their are any. I remember the place very well and would know exactly where to go if i went back their. i might go back and visit one day, i dont live that far away now. i think it ssome sort of social club now so i reckon most of its been changed?? from what i remember it was a pretty impressive bingo club very busy most nights.

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