Odeon Hereford

100 Commercial Road,
Hereford, HR1 2BJ

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd., Cannon Cinemas, Classic Cinemas (UK), MGM Theatres, Odeon Theatres Ltd., Union Cinema Co. Ltd.

Architects: Leslie H. Kemp

Firms: Kemp & Tasker

Functions: Church

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Ritz Cinema, ABC, Classic, Cannon, MGM

Nearby Theaters

The main entrance to the Odeon

The Ritz Cinema opened on 10th January 1938 with Jeanette McDonald in “Maytime”. It was a takeover of a Union Cinemas project by Associated British Cinemas(ABC). There was originally a seating capacity of 1,012 on a stadium plan(stepped section at the rear, with no overhanging balcony). As was usual for a Union Cinemas designed building there was a high quality decorative treatment inside the auditorium, with Art Deco style scroll-work in plaster and light fittings of the period. The Ritz Cinema was equipped with a Compton 2Manual/4Rank organ with Melotone attachment and illuminated console which was opened by Wilfred Southworth. The Ritz Cinema also had a café for the convenience of its patrons. The Ritz Cinema was re-named ABC on 19th June 1961.

Closed on 19th August 1972 for twinning, the front stalls section became a bingo club, and a new 378 seat ABC opened in the stepped rear section on 16th November 1972. This closed on 10th December 1977, but the bingo operation continued.

Re-opened on 7th December 1984 as the Classic Cinema with Dan Ackroyd in “Ghostbusters”, it was re-named Cannon in 1987, then MGM, before becoming ABC again in a management buyout. The bingo club section became a nightclub named ‘Lovejoys’ from 1989, then re-named ‘Dusk’ and finally ‘Fusion’. The café remained open as the Ritz snack bar and amusements. Odeon Theatres took over operation of the cinema in February 2000. The cinema was closed in May 2014 when a new Odeon multiplex opened in the town. By August 2016 it had been converted into an evangelical church.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Cinefan on August 17, 2008 at 7:36 am

Search Google News and you’ll come across this little shocker.

View link

“The protesters were calling for wheelchair access to be improved at the Commercial Road cinema.

However, Odeon said it was not possible to adapt the present building but they were looking for another site."

Key words ‘ANOTHER SITE’

This is inexcusable for ODEON. This means this single screen Art Deco faces closure for another souless multiplex. Best start up the ‘Save the Hereford ODEON’ campaigns, higliting that disability access can be easily added.

popcorn_pete on June 9, 2016 at 9:16 pm

Hereford Freedom Church applied for planning permission in June 2015 to convert the building to a church as it offers the framework it is looking for

DavidSimpson on August 14, 2016 at 12:23 pm

By August 2016 Freedom Church had indeed moved into the building. Rather amusingly, the Odeon logo “FANATICAL ABOUT FILM” is still visible over the entrance!

Biffaskin on February 25, 2021 at 8:23 am

Lovejoys nightclub opened in 1989.

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