Wednesday, 19 April 2017

At the opening of the Well Hall Odeon, May 20th 1936

Now it would be a full 28 years after the Well Odeon was open that I first saw a film there.

And of course I have no idea what the film was or for that matter almost any of the pictures I went on to see at the place.

But it was a regular haunt made more so because I had the job of taking my sisters there on a Saturday morning.

Of all the picture houses I been in there was something special about the Odeon.

It started with that unique box office in the centre of the foyer, that thick carpet, the decor and of course the smell.

Put them all together and you felt that this was somewhere special, a place not only to be entertained but a place where for a few hours the daily routines along with the niggles of the day could be forgotten.

And these picture houses were designed for just that purpose.  Plenty of homes back in 1936 were still austere places little in the way of luxury and by comparison drab and dim and cold.

But the Well Hall Odeon radiated style from that tall glass and tiled tower to the sweep of the entrance roof.

And it was big. It dwarfed the houses that surrounded it stretched back and was only really challenged by the church opposite.

So I am really pleased that Chrissie shared the souvenir programme with me.

Location; Well Hall, Eltham, London

Picture; souvenir booklet of the opening of the Well Hall Odeon, 1936 courtesy of Chrissie Rose


  1. Hi Andy, I enjoy reading your blog and thank you for giving your time to post them for free for our enjoyment. I do have a suggestion though: some posts (such as this one) might benefit from a tiny bit more contextual info, for those of us who aren't already familiar with the buildings or locations you're writing about. From this particular post I don't know whether the cinema was in Chorlton or somewhere else in Manchester or the wider world - just mentioning the street (if in Chorlton) and/or the area of Manchester would be really helpful. The same goes about the Great Ducie Street post and the Shooters Hill Hospital post - it's not immediately obvious where in the world these articles are talking about, if you're not already familiar with the locale. I hope this is useful feedback!

  2. Thank you Tom I never pass up advice. Yes I think you are right will start adding a line at the bottom for the location. The Well Hall Odeon was in Eltham in south east London. Shooter's Hill also looks down on Eltham.