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 hall, but for the Mecca Bingo company. The cinema was granted Grade-II listed status on 10 October 1980 at a time when the building was less than fifty years old. This demonstrates the significance of the cinema as one of the finest Modernist cinemas in Britain.
Posted by Richard Coltman on Sunday, June 1, 2008