Saturday, 16 June 2018

See better days and do better things ............. the Odeon on Old Street

The Odeon on Old Street has seen better times.  

A story from three years ago

The Odeon, 2015
It was opened in 1920 as the Majestic changed its name in 1946 to the Gaumont and in 1962 to the Odeon.*

And as if a name change could makes things better was renamed the Metro in 1981 before closing in 2003.

But I guess we shouldn’t be too hard on the place, it did after all survive from the silent movies with Tom Mix through to the talkies and in to the age of Star Wars and beyond.

Sadly as Peter’s painting shows it seems to have passed its best and not even the attractions of cheap slot machines could keep its doors open.

The Odeon in happier days
And I have to confess I never helped it along, because we never went there.  Instead we preferred the picture houses of Manchester, which was simply because that was where we worked and a night in the cinema straight from work made sense.

But there will be plenty of people who remember it in its heyday and may well have chosen it over the Roxy on Queens Road or the Odeon at Guide Bridge.

Not to short change the more adventurous who might well have ventured off to Stalybridge, Hyde, or even to the Oxford in Dukinfield.

All of which reminds me just how many palaces of cinematic dreams once flourished across Tameside.

So with that in mind I rather hope Peter goes off looking for more to paint and who knows this may well result in a shed load of memories, pictures and stories of the back rows of darkened picture houses across the Tame valley.

And not to be out done I shall also rise to the challenge and go looking for the Queens Electric Theatre of which there is a 1912 plan on the wonderful Tameside Image Archive**

 Painting; the Odeon Ashton-under-Lyne  © 2015 Peter Topping, Paintings from Pictures,
Facebook:  Paintings from Pictures

Picture; the Odeon Cinema, Old Street, Ashton under Lyne, t09070, courtesy of Tameside Image Archive,


*Tameside Image Archive,

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