This former Art Deco Odeon Cinema on Dickson Road, Blackpool originally opened on the 6th of May 1939 with the film 'Three Smart Girls Grow Up'. The Cinema was the largest of all the Oscar Deutsch built Odeon Theatres at the time and could accommodateover 3,000 people on its two levels, stalls and one circle. There was also a large cafe on the first floor, which would later be converted into a bar. Although the main entrance to the Theatre was on Dickson Road there was also an entrance to the front stalls on Springfield Road.
The Theatre was not fitted with an Organ until 1946 although it had been provided with the space to house one since it was built. The Organ which was eventually installed was a Conacher 4Manual/12Ranks with grand piano.
The Theatre was tripled in 1975 with two cinemas in the former rear stalls area, under the circle, and the larger number 1 cinema in the former circle, seating 1,300. This meant that you could see the former front stalls area from the circle, and all the original auditorium features were still visible.
Odeon closed the Cinema in 1998 and it stood abandoned for years until it was bought by Basil Newby who converted the building, at a cost of £2 million in 2001 / 2002, and reopened it as a gay complex in March 2002.
Left - The rear and side elevation of the former Odeon Cinema, Blackpool, in August 2012 - Photo M. L.
The building now comprises of a gay cabaret Theatre called Funny Girls in the stalls area of the former cinema, which was opened with a VIP premiere by Joan Collins; the gay nightclub Flamingo's, which was constructed within the former Circle; and a bar in the former circle foyer. The whole complex has proved very successful since its opening and is a popular venue for Blackpool locals and visitors from around the world.
Above - The Auditorium and Stage at Funny Girls, Blackpool in November 2013 - Photo M. L.
The Theatre is a Grade II Listed building and still retains many of its original features.
Right - A photograph of Funny Girls, Blackpool, formerly the Odeon Theatre, in August 2012 - Photo M. L.
You may like to visit Funny Girls' own website here.
Some of the information on this page was gleaned from the excellent Cinema Treasures website.
If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.
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