55 Queen Street,
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Architects: William S. Wort
Previous Names: New Imperial Cinema
The Odeon Queen Street Cardiff originally opened in 1911 as the New Imperial Cinema. In November 1935, it was taken over by Oscar Deutsch’s chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. It was reconstructed as the Odeon by Cardiff architect William S. Wort, re-opening on 14th September 1936 with the Charles Chaplin movie “Modern Times”. The seating capacity at this time was 1,135 in the stalls and 528 in the circle.
The narrow frontage of the cinema was wedged between shops in the main shopping area of Queen street, this being the case as the ABC cinema virtually next door.
The Odeon remained virtually unaltered until January 1980, when the cinema was twined with Screen 1 the in the original stalls and Screen 2 in the fomer circle area. In 1994 the cinema was given another 300,000 pound facelift with improvements to the foyer area, new seating and carpets.
The Rank Organisation remained committed to running the cinema even after the opening of their new five screen Capitol Odeon, but after attendance started to fall, the twin screen Odeon was closed on the 16th May 2000 with “The Green Mile” and “American Beauty”. Ironically, the three screen ABC cinema just next door had also closed just eleven months before, in June 1999.
The auditorium was demolished in January 2003, and the foyer area of cinema is now a retail shop unit.
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