Closing credits: the battle to save 1930s Odeon cinemas photo essay
Oscar Deutschs cinemas were the most exotic architecture in many British towns and cities. But the wrecking ball has claimed many and is still swinging
The two films shown on the opening night of Odeon founder Oscar Deutschs first cinema in October 1928 may have been silent but it certainly got residents of the small town of Brierley Hill in present-day West Midlands talking.
Designed in Assyrian style by a local architect, Stanley Griffiths, the single-storey street frontage of the Picture House featured a pediment of sorts with a sawtooth motif borrowed from ancient Egypt an architectural style popular in Britain following the 1922 discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun.
Black Country historian Ned Williams says the auditorium was the grandest in the area, and moviegoers hoping to see the German-British comedy crime caper The Ghost Train and Paramount Pictures Woman on Trial had to be reassured of the vast balconys safety before the showing could begin.
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