THE ODEON QUEENSWAY
The Scala Cinema opened on 23rd November 1964 . It was taken over by the Rank Organisation from 22nd February 1970 and re-named the Odeon Ringway (due to its location near to Smallbrook Ringway). It was re-named Odeon Queensway in June 1972 and re-furbished in 1983. It was a one screen cinema with 604 seats.
The cinema closed its doors for the last time on 18th September 1988 and has remained empty and unused ever since.
In late September 2014 Brumpic were invited to take a look around the – now disused – Odeon cinema. It was a place I frequented often as a kid. I saw the original Star Wars trilogy in its entirety one Sunday afternoon for £3, I cheered as Ghostbusters came on in 1984 (yes, people did cheer then, genuinely excited to see a film at the cinema) and my final ever visit in 1985 was to see Rocky IV. After that, the cinema disappeared of my radar as I was nearly 16 and my efforts were concentrated on girls and getting into pubs.
The entrance is now a non-descript metal door and anybody under a certain age would have no clue at all what once lay behind it. As you will see from the images below, it’s a step back in time. The chairs have all gone and the screen is also missing – the last bit of value stripped out by the owners – but the shell is still there, completely recognisable from my teenage visits. The 1970s style carpet still flows down the stairs in to the screen room, just like we had in the house as a kid. The old Odeon sign still there, resting against the wall.
I took a couple of minutes before leaving to stand where I remember sitting as I cheered the beginning of Ghostbusters some 30 years earlier, another part of my childhood gone (like so many others) with the passage of time.
All images © Brumpic