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The Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester

Formerly - The Paramount Theatre

History - 1973 Conversion Photographs - 2015 Exterior Photographs

Manchester Theatres Index

The former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Manchester, in April 2015 - Courtesy Alfred Mason

Above - The former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Manchester, in April 2015 - Courtesy Alfred Mason

 

Reconstruction work for twinning of the Odeon Cinema, formerly the Paramount Theatre, Manchester - From the 21st Anniversary edition of the Cinema Organ Society journal, December 1973The Odeon Cinema in Oxford Street, Manchester originally opened in 1930 as the Paramount Theatre and was built for the Paramount Film Company of America to the designs of F. Verity and S. Beverley, who also built the Plaza Theatre in Lower Regent Street, London.

The Theatre had seating for 2,920 people on two levels, Stalls and Balcony, a fully equipped stage and fly tower, dressing rooms, and orchestra pit and its very own Wurlitzer 4 manual 20 rank publix No.1 Theatre Organ.

The Paramount was used primarily for film but also put on live shows on its large stage and was built to be operating in the then popular cine-variety era.

In 1973 the Theatre was sub divided and became a Twin Screen Cinema and the Theatre's original Wurlitzer organ was removed at this time with an heroic effort just after the Theatre closed, it was then reinstalled in the Free Trade Hall just a hundred yards from its original home.

Right - Reconstruction work for twinning of the Odeon Cinema, formerly the Paramount Theatre, Manchester - From the 21st Anniversary edition of the Cinema Organ Society journal, December 1973. More photos below.

Another screen was added in 1979, and then a further 4 screens were added in 1992 using the basement and stage areas. Despite all this when it closed in 2004 the Theatre still retained its orchestra pit, stage, and proscenium, and its ceiling and foyer areas were still partly intact, even though much of it was hidden. Consequently the Theatre could still have been restored to something like its former state given the will and finance. However, the building is not Listed, its future looks bleak, and its demolition seems likely for replacement with a 14-storey office block. Some more photographs of the building before and during it conversion for Cinema use can be seen below here, and photographs of the exterior in April 2015 can be seen below here. A film showing some historical images of the Theatre can be viewed on YouTube here and here.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

 

Photographs of the Paramount Theatre being converted for Cinema use in 1973

The auditorium and stage of the Odeon Cinema, formerly the Paramount Theatre, Manchester a week before it was subdivided - From the 21st Anniversary edition of the Cinema Organ Society journal, December 1973

Above - The auditorium and stage of the Odeon Cinema, formerly the Paramount Theatre, Manchester a week before it was subdivided - From the 21st Anniversary edition of the Cinema Organ Society journal, December 1973

Reconstruction work for twinning of the Odeon Cinema, formerly the Paramount Theatre, ManchesterMike Byrne stands in the empty Main Organ Chamber of the Odeon Cinema Manchester

Above Left - Reconstruction work for twinning of the Odeon Cinema, formerly the Paramount Theatre, Manchester - And Right - Mike Byrne stands in the empty Main Organ Chamber - From the 21st Anniversary edition of the Cinema Organ Society journal, December 1973.

The Wurlitzer Organ Console outside the main entrance of the Odeon Cinema, formerly the Paramount Theatre, Manchester during the Theatre's twinning - From the 21st Anniversary edition of the Cinema Organ Society journal, December 1973.

Above - The Wurlitzer Organ Console outside the main entrance of the Odeon Cinema, formerly the Paramount Theatre, Manchester during the Theatre's twinning - From the 21st Anniversary edition of the Cinema Organ Society journal, December 1973.

Photographs of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Manchester in April 2015

The former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Manchester, in April 2015 - Courtesy Alfred Mason

Above - The former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Manchester, in April 2015 - Courtesy Alfred Mason

The former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Manchester, in April 2015 - Courtesy Alfred Mason

Above - The former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Manchester, in April 2015 - Courtesy Alfred Mason

The former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Manchester, in April 2015 - Courtesy Alfred Mason

Above - The former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Manchester, in April 2015 - Courtesy Alfred Mason

The former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Manchester, in April 2015 - Courtesy Alfred Mason

Above - The former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Manchester, in April 2015 - Courtesy Alfred Mason

 

 

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