This website contains profiles of Modernist buildings in Britain. Each profile contains a description and history of the building, photographs and a location information. The following list of sites are Modernist buildings are East Midlands. Click the building name or the "read more" link to view the building profile.
Rutland Street, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE1 1SA
The former Odeon cinema in Leicester is a striking building, designed by Harry Weedon and Robert Bullivant from Odeon's favoured architectural practice. The cinema stands on a corner site at the junction of Rutland Street and Queen Street in Leicester. The cinema housed a single screen and seating for nearly 2,200 customers. It opened on 28 July 1938 and remained part of the Odeon cinema chain for 59 years.
As with many corner-site Odeon cinemas the Weedon Partnership used a entrance beneath a curved canopy and frontage. At Leicester, five double doors are accessed up by three steps from street level. To either side of the entrance and canopy are two curved brick wings, carrying the internal staircases providing access to the auditorium balcony. Above the canopy the curved corner of the building is bisected by four projecting piers, each terminating in a curve at top. The piers divide five tall window bays providing light into the building. Architectural detailing is provided above the windows by slender, projecting vertical ribs, curved to the top and bottom.
The top of the staircase wings and 'entrance' corner to the building has vertical brick banding, providing relief to the brickwork of the facade. Above that, the 'Odeon' name is carried in large letters across the curved corner, placed over horizontal channels 'cut' into the brickwork. The frontage was 'decorated' with neon lighting, fitted so as to harmonise with the architectural features of the exterior.
The lower third of the west side wall is a combination of... Read more »
Tags: Cinema, Streamlined Moderne
Baxter Gate, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 1TG
The former Odeon Cinema, located on Baxtergate in Loughborough, is a fine, surviving building from the Odeon Cinema chain. Modernist architecture was almost exclusively used by Deutsch. The chain, started by Oscar Deutsch with its first cinema in Perry Barr in Birmingham owned in excess of 250 cinemas prior to the Second World War.
Like many of the early Odeon cinemas the Odeon Newport was designed by the Weedon Partnership, with Arthur J Price assisting Harry Weedon in the execution of the design. Overall, the design features were used on a number of cinemas designed by Weedon. The Tower West Bromwich, built earlier in 1936, was the first (albeit for a independent chain unconnected with Odeon). Essentially a block-shape, the building featured streamlined, chamfered corners on the main elevation. The lower storey was in black faience, giving way to biscuit-coloured faience above. A canopy projected above the main entrance with wide windows set above. The cinema name was carried in large lettering above the windows. The faience at the top of the main elevation was broken with three bands of green faience.
Weedon and Price re-worked the Tower West Bromwich design at Loughborough. The black base of the building was broken with slender horizontal bands of green faience. Above, the canopy was more streamlined. Above that the windows were more deeply recessed below a projecting lip canopy. The window section curved back inside the main building with slender, faience-clad piers projecting between the windows supporting the lip canopy above the windows. As... Read more »
Tags: Cinema, Streamlined Moderne
8 King Street, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE13 1XA
Standing on the corner of King Street and St Mary's Way in the Leicestershire town of Melton Mowbray is the Regal Cinema. The building is an outstanding example of a smaller regional cinema, all the more remarkable for having been built by a local company and operated as an independent cinema, and not part of a much larger chain like Gaumont, Granada Theatres or Odeon. The cinema opened in 1934 and was built by a local company, Denman & Sons.
The design of the Regal Cinema incorporates a two-storey block facing onto King Street, projecting from the cinema's auditorium that can be seen behind and above the street frontage, most notably along St Mary's Way. Whilst the auditorium is clad in red brick, the King Street frontage is clad in faience tiles, in shades of orange and blue, with the base of the frontage clad in light-grey faience. The intricate design of the faience enlivens the frontage and makes it one of the most colourful cinemas in Britain.
The King Street frontage comprises two two-bay, two storey wings either side of a central section. The wings have projecting pilasters at each corner, which were originally clad in faience tiles but have been subsequently covered in render. The inner pilasters are taller; all are topped with square, faience tile-clad capitals. Each of the bays is bordered by a projecting surround of narrow blue-coloured faience tiles. Inside the border, the ground and first-floors are illuminated by tall, narrow windows. The white-painted metal-framed windows... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Cinema
Churchfield Lane, Radford, Nottingham, NG7 5GS
Standing on the corner of Churchfield Lane and Newquay Avenue in the Nottingham district of Radford is the former Capitol Cinema. Opened in 1936, the building continued as a working cinema for five decades before it closed and was converted to a bingo hall and social club. Laterly, the building was purchased and serves as the Mount Zion Millennium City Church.
In the inter-war period cinema-going became increasingly popular amongst the British public. Entrepreneurs quickly set up local cinemas to cash in on this popularity. Although cinema the industry in Britain was dominated by large players the business was such an attractive proposition that many independent operators set up with one or a small chain of cinemas to serve a local population or area. The Capitol was one such cinema, designed by Reginald Cooper for the small Invincible Cinemas chain.
The more successful operators, such as Gaumont, Granada Theatres or Odeon, were able to quickly grow their business into a national circuit with a presence in most major towns and cities. Yet it is the smaller regional cinemas, that demonstrate some of the most attractive cinema design; without the budget for promotion and marketing as the large cinema chains, the independent operators relied on their cinema's appearance as much as their marketing to draw in cinema-goers.
The Capitol Cinema occupies a narrow site along Newquay Avenue with a small frontage on Churchfield Lane. It is fairly awkward plot, and the cinema was built such that auditorium was aligned with Newquay... Read more »
Tags: Church, Cinema, Streamlined Moderne