Streamlined moderne

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 "Streamlined Moderne". Click the building name or the "read more" link to view the building profile.

Capitol Cinema Radford, Nottingham

The Capitol Cinema Radford

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: Streamlined Moderne

Daily Express Building, London

Daily Express Building

120 Fleet Street, London, EC4A 2BE

Located at 120 Fleet Street in the City of London on the corner of Shoe Lane, the former Daily Express Building is one of London's most iconic Modernist buildings. The building was constructed between 1930 and 1932 to serve as the headquarters of the Daily Express Newspaper in the capital. Even today, the building is a striking structure amongst the more traditional stone-clad buildings on Fleet Street and appears futuristic compared to even the most recent additions to the streetscape. In the 1930s, the building must have been such a stark contrast to other architectural schemes of the time. p> Architects Ellis and Clarke (the practice later became Ellis Clarke and Gallanaugh) were commissioned by the owner of the Daily Express William Maxwell Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook, to extend forward the existing Daily Express buildings towards Fleet Street. Their original proposal would see a steel-framed structure, clad externally in Portland stone, a scheme similar in principal to that of the Daily Telegraph building further west along Fleet Street. However, complications arose from the physical constraints of the site - it was a relatively narrow plot - and the requirement to have printing presses running through the basement of the existing and new buildings. It meant their scheme was impractical. English architect Sir Evan Owen Williams (1890 - 1969) was drafted in to the project to resolve the problems with the scheme. Williams was an architect and engineer and his company was later responsible for the design and construction of the first section of... Read more »
Tags: Streamlined Moderne

Hoover Factory Building No 7, London

The Hoover Factory Building No 7

Western Avenue Greenford, Middlesex, UB6 8DW

Building No 7 is part of the former Hoover Factory complex in Perivale, west London. It is one of three surviving structures from the site, built between 1932 and 1938. The site is alongside the A40 arterial route, which runs from the City of London to Fishguard in Wales. Building No 7 is next to the former main office building. Together they are an impressive sight for commuters and visitors entering and leaving London. The Hoover factory site was built for the American Hoover Company as part of the company's expansion plans, when it established a manufacturing base for the company's British vacuum cleaner division. The main office building was constructed in 1932 and subsequently extended in 1934. Building No 7 was built in 1938 as the factory canteen building. Like the main office building, Building No 7 was designed by the firm of Wallis, Gilbert and Partners. The partnership designed some of Britain's finest Modernist industrial buildings. In addition to the Hoover Factory buildings a concentration of buildings by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners can be found on the 'Golden Mile' stretch of the Great West Road (the A4) in London. Although complementing the main factory building, Building No 7 is different in its design. The main building is Art Deco in style, with Egyptian-styled motifs. Building No 7 is in the Streamlined Moderne style. Building No 7 is constructed using a steel-reinforce concrete frame and extends over three storeys. The building extends deeply along Bideford Avenue (which borders the western extent of the... Read more »
Tags: Streamlined Moderne

Ibex House, London

Ibex House London

42-47 Minories, London, EC3N 1DY

Standing on the east side of Minories in Central London, less than half a mile north of the Tower of London, stands the Ibex House, a impressive-looking 1930s office block. The building is in the Streamlined Moderne style of Modernist architecture, popularised by the Odeon Cinema chain, but used here for a commercial building. Ibex House was designed by the architectural practice of Fuller, Hall and Foulsham. Today, the practice is one of the lesser known of the period. Fuller, Hall and Foulsham also designed Blenstock House in Cental London, located at the junction of Blenheim Street and Woodstock Street just off Oxford Street, home to the auction house Bonhams. Ibex House occupies a large rectangular plot on Minories, with an extended H-shaped footprint. The building extends for approximately 40 metres on Minories, and for around 100 metres along Haydon (to the north) and Portsoken Street (to the south). Ibex House is built around a structural steel frame, with a western and eastern core providing a space for lifts and staircases. The building ranges over eleven storeys, with a basement level. The top three storeys of the central section on the building on its east-west alignment are stepped back successively, with just the top storey stepped back on its east and west elevations. The exterior of Ibex House is clad in distinctive black faience for its lower storeys and buff faience above. Each storey features black metal framed windows that form continuous horizontal bands of... Read more »
Tags: Streamlined Moderne

Marine Court, St Leonards-on-Sea

Marine Court

Marina, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN38 0DZ

Marine Court in St Leonards-on-Sea in East Sussex was constructed by South Coast (Hastings & St Leonards) Properties company. On 30 November 1936 the foundation stone was laid by Robert Holland-Martin, Chairman of the Southern Railway and the building was completed in 1938. Marine Court is fourteen storeys high, and from basement to roof, measures 170 ft/49 metres in height; east-west 416 ft/127 metres in length. When viewed from the east or west Marine Court is very tall and slender, from the beach (south) or north, the full expanse of the building dwarfs all those on the seafront. Marine Court was an early pioneer of steel-frame construction, like the earlier De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea. The building was designed by architects Kenneth Dalgleish and Roger K Pullen, with overt references to the Cunard White-Star Line Queen Mary, which had entered commercial transatlantic service in 1936. The east end of Marine Court is shaped to imitate the curved, stacked bridge front of the Queen Mary; the eastern restaurant served to imitate the fo'c'sle deck of the ship. The south elevation is vertical, with balconies imitating the promenade deck aboard the Queen Mary. The upper stories of Marine Court are stepped-in from those beneath, like the superstructure of a ship, those beneath like the immense hull of a liner. The ground floor shop frontages were black, the external walls of Marine Court were painted white. Marine Court was damaged at its eastern end by bombing during the Second World War and restoration of the building... Read more »
Tags: Streamlined Moderne

Midland Hotel, Morecambe

Midland Hotel Morecambe

Marine Road West, Morecambe, Lancashire, LA4 4BU

Standing on Marine Road West in Morecambe the Midland Hotel is one of Britain's finest twentieth century Modernist buildings. The hotel was built by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway company, one of many hotels built by the company at station termini across the country. The hotel's position on the sea-front, opposite the railway station, was an advantage to the railway company's passengers at at time when car ownership was still an expensive luxury hobby. The hotel was designed by English architect Oliver Hill (1887-1968) in the Streamlined Moderne style. Hill's earlier works were in the Arts and Crafts style but his later work in the Modernist style is arguably his finest output. The hotel features sculptures by the famous British designer and sculptor Eric Gill (1882-1940), who was also responsible for sculptures for the BBC's Broadcasting House in central London and 55 Broadway, the headquarters of London Underground. Hill's design uses a curved form, following the alignment of the sea-front. The concave side of the hotel forms its main elevation, with the convex side facing out to sea. The eastern range of the hotel comprises a single storey structure with a rotunda facing seawards. Built over a reinforced concrete frame with brick walls, the hotel is rendered in 'Snowcrete', a type of Portland-limestone cement with a brilliant white pigment that has good durability against weathering, giving the hotel a brilliant white appearance. The hotel is built across three storeys, with two wings either side of a central core, housing a magnificent... Read more »
Tags: Streamlined Moderne

Ocean Hotel, Saltdean

Ocean Hotel Saltdean

Longridge Avenue, Saltdean , Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 8BU

Standing on Longridge Avenue in Saltdean, at its junction with Wicklands Avenue is the former (Grand) Ocean Hotel. The Ocean Hotel was built in 1938 and was designed by the architect Richard William Herbert Jones, who also designed Saltdean's Grade II*-listed Lido and residential properties Teynham House, Curzon House and Marine View along Chichester Road East and Marine Drive. The hotel was built by the Ocean Hotels Ltd at a cost of £200,000. Designed in the Streamlined Moderne style, the hotel extends over three main storeys above a basement storey. The frontage of the hotel is concave in form, with a symmetrical design, featuring ranges and outer wings either side of a central core. The ground floor level of the hotel houses the main public rooms of the hotel, including the ballroom. The second and third storeys are given over to hotel accommodation. The central core of the hotel comprises three bays, with the central bay occupied by a large, full height window to the second and third storeys illuminating the hotel's spiral staircase. At the ground floor there are double doors opening onto the hotel foyer, beneath a curved canopy roof. The central bay terminates with a raised parapet, and is topped with a central flagpole. Beside the central core are ranges on either side. Each extends over five bays, with the central bay being narrower than the outer bays. The ground floor windows are set beneath a shallow canopy, while above the horizontal bands formed by the metal-framed windows are separated... Read more »
Tags: Streamlined Moderne

Odeon Cinema Dudley, West Midlands

Odeon Cinema Dudley

22 Castle Hill, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 4QQ

The Odeon Cinema Dudley was built on a plot opposite Dudley Castle and opened on 28 July 1937. The cinema stands on Castle Hill, which rises from Birmingham Road to Dudley Town Centre. The cinema was designed by Harry Weedon and Budge Reid of the Weedon Partnership in the Odeon house style. The general outline of the design is similar to many Odeon cinemas, including Swiss Cottage in London, Bolton in Greater Manchester, and Loughborough in Leicestershire. The symmetrical design of the cinema is in a single, brick-faced block outside a steel, inner frame. Both corners of the front elevation feature gently curved corners, the corners distinguished by horizontal channels forming bands of brick that rise the full height of the building. Projecting from the main block is a lower frontage with subtly curved corners. The frontage is clad in cream faience tiles. The faience tiles are grouped with two vertically aligned rectangular tiles forming a square, separated by prominent horizontal and vertical pointing between the faience tiles. At ground floor level the base is clad in black tiles, and above with the same cream faience broken by prominent horizontal green faience bands. The front elevation has five deeply recessed window openings, surmounted by a moulded canopy. Below the windows is a cantilevered canopy beneath which are five doors in recesses mirroring the window recesses above the canopy. Above the window canopy, the five letters of the Odeon name are aligned with the recesses for the windows. Smaller letters, aligned vertically, spell... Read more »
Tags: Streamlined Moderne

Odeon Cinema Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Odeon Cinema Harrogate

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: Streamlined Moderne

Odeon Cinema Kingstanding, Birmingham

Odeon Cinema Kingstanding

Kettlehouse Road, Birmingham, West Midlands, B44 9JD

Located at the convergence of six roads in Kingstanding in Birmingham, the Odeon cinema stands out as a dramatic building as it is the tallest building within the locality. As the cinema is surrounded on both sides by roads it dominates the environment. Designed by Harry Weedon and Cecil Clavering and built between 1935 and 1936, the cinema is one of the best surviving Odeon cinemas in Britain and represents one of the finest works of the Weedon Partnership. This area is particularly fortunate to have two of the most significant surviving Odeon Cinemas in the country; within a few miles of Kingstanding stands the Odeon Sutton Coldfield. Unlike many other Odeon cinemas the Kingstanding cinema employs a symmetrical design. A central section of three slender faience (glazed tiles) fins rise behind the curved, cantilevered entrance canopy with large "Odeon" lettering. The top of the outermost fins features "CINEMA" lettering. Projecting from the main body of the building is the main frontage again featuring faience; the corners are gently, elegantly curved. The main body of the building is of brown brick, the front corners are again subtly curved. The frontage features prominent horizontal banding which flow across the curved canopy from one side of the building to the other. The roof-line of the main body of the building, of brown brick, rises in steps to abut the central fins. The cinema was closed on 1st December 1962 and converted into a Top Rank Bingo Club. Today the building still serves as a bingo... Read more »
Tags: Streamlined Moderne

Odeon Cinema Leicester, Leicestershire

Odeon Cinema Leicester

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: Streamlined Moderne

Odeon Cinema Loughborough, Leicestershire

Odeon Cinema Loughborough

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: Streamlined Moderne

Odeon Cinema Morecambe, Lancashire

Odeon Cinema Morecambe

Thornton Road/Euston Road, Morecambe, Lancashire, LA4 5LE

The Lancashire seaside town of Morecambe is noted for one of Britain's best Modernist buildings, the Midland Hotel. Within the town, however, is another important Modernist building. However, it is one that is somewhat forgotten, partly because of its more glamorous compatriot, but also because its state of repair is poor with the building seemingly unloved and overlooked. The building is the former Odeon Cinema, located on the corner of Thornton Road and Euston Road. The Odeon company can trace its origins back to 1930 when the firm formed by Oscar Deutsch (1893-1941) opened its first cinema bearing the Odeon name, at Perry Barr in the West Midlands, 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 before the outbreak of the Second World War. Amongst those cinemas was the Odeon Morecambe, which opened in 1937. As with so many other Odeon cinemas, the company employed the Weedon Partnership, led by Harry Weedon (1887-1970) to design the Morecambe cinema. Working with Calder Robson, with whom Weedon had also designed the Odeon Harrogate, the partnership produced a building in the Streamlined Moderne for Morecambe. The building employs many of the signature architectural elements that have come to characterise buildings of the Odeon cinema chain. Many of Odeon's cinemas occupy corner plots in Britain's towns and cities, including the Odeon Morecambe. However, the Odeon Morecambe is located away from the town's centre, a factor... Read more »
Tags: Streamlined Moderne

Odeon Cinema Newport, Gwent

Odeon Cinema Newport

Clarence Place, Newport, Gwent, NP19 7AB

The former Odeon Cinema, located on Clarence Place in Newport, Gwent, is a remarkable, surviving building from the Odeon Cinema chain. 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. Modernist architecture was almost exclusively used by Deutsch; only local planning constraints in particularly sensitive locations - such as historic Chester and York - restricted the design ambitions of Deutsch's architects. 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 bears a striking similarity to that of the Odeon at Sutton Coldfield, by Harry Weedon and Cecil Clavering. Again the design of the cinema was dominated by a central 'fin', although the 'Cinema' lettering at the top of the fin found at Sutton Coldfield was substituted with the Odeon name; perhaps the brand was considered sufficiently established enough that the name would speak for itself. In a departure from Sutton Coldfield, the fin featured projecting brick piers with horizontal, projecting brick bands. To the left of the fin was a four-storey block with a tiled, faience frontage for the lower three storeys. The faience was placed in a 'basket-weave' style, providing some relief to the expanse of faience. Adjacent to the brick fin the windows feature a surround of black tiles, providing a horizontal emphasis to the frontage. To the left... Read more »
Tags: Streamlined Moderne

Odeon Cinema Scarborough, North Yorkshire

Odeon Cinema Scarborough

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: Streamlined Moderne

Odeon Cinema Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands

Odeon Cinema Sutton Coldfield

Maney Corner, Birmingham Road, Sutton Coldfield, B72 1QL

One company more than any other in Britain brought Modernist architecture to the attention of towns and cities across the country. The Odeon cinema chain owned in excess of 250 cinemas prior to the Second World War. Oscar Deutsch had commissioned the firm of Weedon Partnership to design a cinema in Perry Barr, Birmingham. The style of that cinema was so well received by Deutsch that this became the in-house style for the three hundred cinemas designed by the Weedon Partnership. The cinema in Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham in the West Midlands was built in 1935 - 1936 to plans by Harry Weedon and Cecil Clavering. The design of the cinema was dominated by a central "fin" with large "CINEMA" lettering at the top. To the west was a two-storey block with tiled frontage, housing the double-height foyer. To the other side of the fin was the main entrance, above which the corner of the building curved elegantly to bisect the eastern projecting wing of the cinema, itself elegantly curved. The geometric style Odeon lettering featured prominently on the left and right hand frontages. Much of the frontage was covered in cream tiles, broken by horizontal bands of green tiles, the rest of the building was faced with brown brick. The horizontal banding was replicated on some of the brickwork producing a "ribbed" effect, on the fin and also the lower storey of the eastern-most part of the building. The Odeon Cinema in Harrogate is a virtual copy of the Sutton Coldfield... Read more »
Tags: Streamlined Moderne

Odeon Cinema York

Odeon Cinema York

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: Streamlined Moderne

Towers Cinema Hornchurch, Essex

Towers Cinema Hornchurch

31 High Street, Hornchurch, Essex, RM11 1TP

The Towers Cinema stands at the western end of the High Street in the Essex town of Hornchurch, which lies within the Greater London conurbation. The cinema was commissioned by the D J James' circuit, which operated a number of cinemas across the Greater London area. Like many of the circuit's cinemas the Towers Hornchurch was designed by the Kemp and Tasker architectural practice, founded by Leslie H Kemp and Frederick E Tasker. The design is striking and comprises a symmetrical faience-clad facade. The main frontage of the building is five bays wide, with chamfered corners and a short return before joining with the main block of the cinema housing the auditorium. The entrance to the cinema comprises three pairs of double doors opening into the foyer, accessed by steps from the street. Either side of the steps are two projecting illuminated displays windows. Outside of these, are ground floor windows, each with a panel set into the centre for advertising. Above the entrance is an illuminated projecting canopy. Above that, the outer bays of the facade are blank, with panels used to carry advertising hoardings displaying the cinema's film showtimes. The three central bays feature double-height windows, providing illumination for the first floor cafe. The windows feature prominent horizontal glazing bars. Above each window is a moulded panel with a bas-relief representation of a Chinese dragon mask and ornamental acanthus scrollwork. The central bays are separated by rounded, fluted columns. Above the double-height windows the facade is broken by two horizontal... Read more »
Tags: Streamlined Moderne

A celebration of Modernist architecture in Britain