Odeon Welling

38 Upper Wickham Lane,
Welling, DA16 3HF

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Odeon Theatres Ltd., Rank Organisation

Architects: George Coles

Functions: Church

Styles: Art Deco

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Odeon Welling

The Odeon was built for and operated by Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Theatres Ltd. chain. It opened on 22nd October 1934 with Clark Gable in “It Happened One Night”.

This was the first of many Odeon theatres to be designed by architect George Coles. The rather pleasing facade was dressed in Portland stone and had three slightly recessed tall windows with glazing etched in a recurring ‘O’ (for Odeon) design. Inside the auditorium seating was provided for 928 in the stalls and 450 in the balcony. The lighting was provided by cove lighting troughs surrounding the proscenium and a central linear light fitting in the ceiling.

The Odeon led an uneventful life and was closed by the Rank Organisation on 22nd October 1960 with Norman Wisdom in “There Was a Crooked Man” and Sabu in “Jungle Hell”. It was converted into a Top Rank Bingo Club which later became a Mecca Bingo Club. The Mecca Bingo Club closed in 2007. In June 2009, it was converted into a church by Freedom Centre International.

Contributed by KenRoe
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