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 North East. Click the building name or the "read more" link to view the building profile.
Bondgate, Darlington, County Durham, DL3 7JT
In August 1931 it was announced that a new "superkinema" was to be built in Darlington, located near to the corner of Bondgate and Archer Street in the city centre. Today, the St Augustines Way section of the city's post-war ring road pierces through what was Archer Street. The cinema was designed by local architect Joshua Clayton in the Art Deco style. As well as working as an architect, Joshua Clayton was an prominent figure locally, serving on the town council. The cinema was completed in 1932, officially opening on Boxing Day. It was built at a cost of £30,000 (nearly £2 million in today's money) and provided seating for nearly 1,600 cinemagoers. The cinema was fitted with a manual Compton organ "with full effects".
The cinema comprises its auditorium and a three-storey frontage facing on to Bondgate. The Bondgate facade originally had a deep, projecting canopy with three sets of double doors providing access to the foyer (as illustrated above). Either side on the ground floor were individual shop units, each with a single piece curved glass window. Above the canopy are three recessed rectangular windows with ornate stained glass. Above is a decorative entablature with a reeded frieze and stepped cornice. Set above the entablature are three rectangular windows, again with decorative stained glass. The central section of the facade is topped with a parapet with ornamental tile work. Either side of the central section are single bay wings, each with a large, double-height stained glass window. Either side... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Cinema
East Parade, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 5LB
Standing on the corner of East Parade and Station Avenue in the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate is arguably one of Britain's finest Modernist cinema buildings. Today, the building survives as part of the Odeon cinema chain after eight decades of continuous use as a working cinema.
The Odeon company traces its history back to 1930 when the firm established by Oscar Deutsch (1893-1941) opened its first cinema bearing the Odeon name, at Perry Barr in Birmingham, on 4 August 1930. The company saw its greatest period of expansion during the 1930s, as the increasing popularity of cinema-going allowed Deutsch to open in excess of 250 cinemas prior to the Second World War.
Like the majority of Odeon's cinemas, the Odeon Harrogate was built in the Streamlined Moderne style and was a product of the Weedon Partnership. Harry Weedon (1887-1970) became involved with the Odeon chain in 1934 and his company produced designs for some of the finest buildings of the period.
Although the majority of pre-war Odeon cinemas are in the Streamlined Moderne style, it is curious that Odeon didn't opt for a standardised design of cinema. Today, out-of-town superstores, supermarkets and fast-food restaurants tend to adopt 'identi-kit' designs, with apparent cost-savings in design, construction and operation. However, with very few exceptions, each Odeon cinema was different from the next. Certain design elements and overall schemes were re-used, but each cinema was unique. Many cinemas were designed to fit the plot land they were built upon, or the population they were... Read more »
Tags: Cinema, Streamlined Moderne
Westborough, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 1JW
Standing on the corner of Westborough, at the junction between Northway and Filey Road, stands Scarborough's former Odeon Cinema. The building stands away from the main centre of the North Yorkshire seaside town, located opposite the train station. This impressive building was constructed in the 1930s for the Odeon Cinema chain as part of its rapidly expanding nationwide network of cinemas.
The company, founded by Oscar Deutsch (1893-1941), opened its first cinema bearing the Odeon name at Perry Barr in Birmingham on 4 August 1930. The increasing popularity of cinema-going amongst the British public allowed the Odeon chain to grow, so much so that by the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 the company owned around 250 cinemas across the country.
The company almost exclusively built its cinema in an Art Deco style. Many were products of the Weedon Partnership. Harry Weedon (1887-1970) became involved with the Odeon chain in 1934 when he was commissioned to come up with alternative plans for the interior of the Warley cinema, then under construction in West Warley, Warwickshire. Weedon himself employed John Cecil Clavering (1910-2001) to execute the designs for the Warley Cinema.
The work of Weedon and Clavering appealed to Oscar Deutsch and the Weedon Partnership would go on to design many of the chain's finest cinemas including those at Kingstanding, Sutton Coldfield, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Newport (Gwent) and Scarborough. The Odeon Scarborough opened on 28 March 1936, incorporating a first floor cafe and ground floor shops.
The design for the Odeon Scarborough... Read more »
Tags: Cinema, Streamlined Moderne
3 Blossom Street, York, North Yorkshire, YO24 1AJ
Standing on Blossom Street in York is the former Odeon Cinema, now operated by the Reel Cinema chain as part of its nationwide chain of fifteen cinemas. The building stands away from the main centre of the North Yorkshire city as, in the 1930s, it was only possible to obtain planning permission to build a cinema outside the walls of historic York. Additional constraints on the design of the cinema meant that Odeon's usual house style had to be toned down.
The Odeon cinema chain was founded by Oscar Deutsch (1893-1941). The company opened its first cinema bearing the Odeon name at Perry Barr in Birmingham on 4 August 1930. The increasing popularity of cinema-going amongst the British public allowed the Odeon chain to grow, so much so that by the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 the company owned around 250 cinemas across the country.
The company almost exclusively built its cinema in an Art Deco style, and although no two cinemas were identical (Harrogate and Sutton Coldfield came very close), the company's house style was bold and innovative. Weedon's designs incorporated soaring towers and fins; dynamic, curved canopies; facades clad in black and buff-coloured faience pierced with horizontal bands of coloured faience; curved and semi-circular wings; and extensive use of neon lighting.
The Odeon at nearby Harrogate is strikingly dissimilar to the Odeon York. Whereas at Harrogate the cinema has a tall tower with a faience-clad facade and curved canopy, the design at York was executed solely in brown... Read more »
Tags: Cinema, Streamlined Moderne