Odeon Banbury

Banbury, OX16 0AH

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd., Cannon Cinemas, Classic Cinemas (UK), Essoldo Circuit (Contol) Ltd., Odeon Cinemas Group, S.M. Super Cinemas, Ltd.

Architects: Frederick Adkins, Arthur Percival Starkey

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Regal Cinema, Essoldo, Classic, Cannon, ABC

Nearby Theaters

Odeon Banbury

The Regal Cinema was built for an independent operator and was designed by architects A.P. Starkey and Frederick Adkins. The Regal Cinema opened on 7th October 1940 with Ralph Richardson in "The Four Feathers". The four storey facade was built of local yellow stone. Inside the auditorium, seating was provided for 897 in stalls and circle levels.

By 1946 it was operated by Southan Morris’s chain S.M. Super Cinemas Ltd. They were taken over by the Essoldo chain in August 1954 and it was re-named Essoldo on 31st May 1956. The Classic Cinemas chain took control in 1972 and the cinema became the Classic Cinema. It was twinned, re-opening on 28th January 1973 with screen 1 in the former stalls seating 470 and screening "The Godfather". Screen 2 opened the following day with “Endless Night” screening in the former circle, now seating 241. Initially the projection in this screen was via a periscope mirror system for the downstairs projection box (today a new projection box has been built to serve this screen).

The Classic was re-named Cannon in 1986 when the Cannon Group took control of Classic Cinemas, then in 1996 it became the ABC when that company took over.

Odeon Cinemas Group took over and re-named the cinema Odeon in October 2001. Seating is now provided for 422 (+4 wheelchair spaces) in screen 1 and 225 in screen 2.

On 11th May 2023 it was announced that the Odeon would close on 5th June 2023.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

sisu on October 1, 2013 at 11:20 pm

my projectionist home for 20 years, many happy memmories.

michaelbrent on October 2, 2013 at 10:48 am

my father worked as a projectionist in the 1970s

sisu on October 2, 2013 at 11:57 am

Michael, this wasn’t @ the above cinema was it? or is my mind playing tricks.

michaelbrent on October 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Yes when Classic operated it

sisu on December 21, 2013 at 9:26 am

Screen 2, the worst film presentation ever. Both projectors were in the same booth, but, 2 was projected through the dreaded periscope system, and when it was hot, those mirrors sure distorted, the picture was never very good in focus, I know, I battled with it for ages in 1976, when the projection room was never below 96deg,and in the winter, you couldn`t get number 2 warm, as the conversion was a bash job of heating, I have seen people take rugs into the place, but still my home for a long time, with very good memories.

DavidKH on May 11, 2023 at 9:19 am

Recently announced that this cinema set to close.

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