Odeon Preston

150 Church Street,
Preston, PR1 3BU

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Gaumont-British-Picture Corp., Ltd., Provincial Cinematograph Theatres Ltd., Rank Organisation

Architects: William Edward Trent

Functions: Nightclub

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: New Victoria Theatre, Gaumont

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News About This Theater

odeon screen 2

Provincial Cinematograph Theatres(PCT) opened the New Victoria Theatre in Church Street, Preston on 17th September 1928.

It is a huge structure, PCT had bought up an unfinished but largely complete cinema planned to open as the Coliseum and seat 900 and turned this auditorium into the crush hall! They then employed architect W. E. Trent to build a sumptuous cine/theatre behind the existing structure complete with full stage and café. There was seating for 1,450 in the stalls and 670 in the single balcony. The New Victoria Theatre was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2Manual/9Rank organ that was opened by Leslie J. Rogers.

PCT were taken over by Gaumont British Theatres in February 1929, and the cinema was re-named Gaumont in 1952. It closed for sub-division in 1962 and reopened on 28th January 1963 with the circle extended forward to create a new (and much plainer) Odeon with 1,229 seats. The re-opening film was Norman Wisdom in “On the Beat” and was attended by film star Leslie Phillips and comedian Stanley Baxter. Odeon 2 was opened in 1970 using the former café space and seating 105. The stalls became a dance hall named Top Rank Suite with a new fully sprung maple floor installed.

The whole complex closed in September 1992 and the upper parts of the building remain unused in 2008. A nightclub operated from the former stalls/dance hall section.

On May 14, 2022 a fire damaged the vacant upper parts of the building. It was being treated as arson. Another fire on 19th May 2022 totally destroyed the auditorium of the building and a 14 years old boy was arrested. Demolition of any auditorium walls which survived the fire commenced immediately. The street entrance and foyer are still standing.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 11, 2005 at 12:23 pm

Three exterior photographs – three names of the Odeon, Preston here:

New Victoria in 1949
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Gaumont in 1956
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Odeon in April 1970
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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 5, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Photographed in July 2006, the facade has been cleaned and repaired:

jrhine on August 15, 2009 at 6:46 pm

According to the New Victoria Action Group site on Facebook, meetings began in May, 2009 to discuss reopening of this theater. A possible target is the 2012 “Guild Year.”

scrappynw on August 31, 2009 at 4:31 am

here are some pics from a few months ago of the interior
View link

NewVic on May 17, 2010 at 4:25 am

The owners – at long last – have put the cinema up for sale / to let. The New Victoria Action Group (soon to be called ‘Friends of the New Victoria Preston)are busy putting together resources to purchase the building. The ultimate aim is to create a centre for arts and culture, bringing non-mainstream films to the city together with some restoration of this last remaining, indistinguishable town centre cinema in Preston. Further details and information can be found on the exclusive Facebook page 'THE NEW VICTORIA ACTION GROUP PRESTON’.

NewVic on November 20, 2010 at 1:56 am

Just thought I’d pop in to give you some more news about the project. The wheels are very much in motion and a steady, progressive team are working hard to acquire the New Vic and to return it to its former use. The project now has a website http://www.newvicpreston.weebly.com containing news, facts and a number of images of the cinema between 1928 and the present day. The project team meet regularly and we are always keen to see new names on the Facebook site http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=75218299150 and we welcome anyone with an interest in the project to join us at our meetings which take place every other Monday at New Meadow Street Labour Club, North Road Preston, PR1 1YQ @ 7.00pm. The next meeting following this post is on 29th November.

scrappynw on July 18, 2011 at 12:46 pm

photos at top of page are owned by me, please ask before using else where. thank you

Robbie25646 on February 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm

A friend of mine had an uncle who was a projectionist here for many years his name was Phillip surname can’t remember, he was a great theatre organ man too. When the ODEON closed for refurbishment he was given one of the old cinema clocks that the time was marked with the name Odeon theatre. I now have this lovely art deco clock on my lounge wall and it still keeps time perfectly.

ODEONesque on July 22, 2021 at 4:03 pm

Does anyone know what became of the 2 manual 9 rank WurliTzer organ from here? Good luck to all trying to bring this cinema back to life.

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