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The Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester

Formerly - The Paramount Theatre

History - 1973 Conversion Photographs - 2015 Exterior Photographs - Demolition in 2017

Manchester Theatres Index

The Paramount Theatre, Manchester, shortly after its opening in 1930 - From 'The Bioscope' November 1930.

Above - The Paramount Theatre, Manchester, shortly after its opening in 1930 - From 'The Bioscope' November 1930.

The Odeon Cinema, which was situated in Manchester's Oxford Street, originally opened as the Paramount Theatre in 1930. It 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.

Photographs of the Paramount Theatre, Manchester, shortly after its opening in 1930 - From 'The Bioscope' November 1930.

Above - Photographs of the Paramount Theatre, Manchester, shortly after its opening in 1930 - From 'The Bioscope' November 1930. The Caption for these photographs Reads:- 'Paramount's wonderful show theatre at Manchester has set new standards in stage effects and presentations, but the house itself has raised architectural magnificence to a new level in the Midlands [Sic]. Note the vast proportions of the proscenium arch and the smooth compactness of the seating arrangements. The small bottom picture shows the mezzanine foyer, and the small upper one some detail of the mezzanine stairway'

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 1973In 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. The Theatre could have been restored to something like its former state given the will and finance but the building was not Listed and sadly its demolition, which was begun in April 2017, to make way for a new 14-storey office block, means that this is the end for this particular Theatre's history. A report on the Theatre's demolition can be seen on the Manchester Evening News website here. And some photographs of the demolition can be seen below.

Some photographs of the building before and during it conversion for Cinema use can be seen here, and photographs of the exterior in April 2015 can be seen 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 - Reconstruction work for twinning of the Odeon Cinema, formerly the Paramount Theatre, Manchester - And 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

Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Manchester in May 2017

Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester, in May 2017 - Courtesy Alfred Mason.

Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester, in May 2017 - Courtesy Alfred Mason.

Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester, in May 2017 - Courtesy Alfred Mason.

Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester, in May 2017 - Courtesy Alfred Mason.

Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester, in May 2017 - Courtesy Alfred Mason.

Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester, in May 2017 - Courtesy Alfred Mason.

Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester, in May 2017 - Courtesy Alfred Mason.

Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester, in May 2017 - Courtesy Alfred Mason.

Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester, in May 2017 - Courtesy Alfred Mason.

Above - Photographs of the Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester, in May 2017 - Courtesy Alfred Mason.

A Photograph of the Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester, in May 2017 - Courtesy Simon Mullington.

A Photograph of the Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester, in May 2017 - Courtesy Simon Mullington.

A Photograph of the Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester, in May 2017 - Courtesy Simon Mullington.

A Photograph of the Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester, in May 2017 - Courtesy Simon Mullington.

Above - Photographs of the Demolition of the former Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester, in May 2017 - Courtesy Simon Mullington.