Odean Cinema

Your memories of the The Beacon/ Odean Cinema / Mecca Bingo

Kingstanding Circle in the 1930’s

Memories of Alan Hitchman

The Odeon Cinema, was a regular saturday morning matany, i used to walk from home on my own and meet up with others about my age (10), some weeks i had to drag my younger sister along with me if she was awake when i left, there was always a Cowboy movie on plus a cartoon and the serial about Flash Gordon but thankfully no adds. Rain Snow and the occasional sunshine and i would be there.
The Odeon was a grand Place to a young boy in those days. I cant say i ever remember sneaking in through the back door, i do remember it was quite a lavish place though with a big foyer, i also remember it had an organ that popped up some weeks on the left of the screen, Great entertainment for Kids before television..

 

Memories of Veronica Marshall

I was a regular at the Saturday morning matinee at the Odeon Cinema. I remember cowboy films with Roy Rogersand his horse, Trigger, and Gene Autrey. One never to be forgotten occasion I let my friend hold my teddy bear, and she came out without it. We looked in vain, but he was lost for ever!
Later, the Odeon was a venue for dates, and I remember waiting outside on chilly evenings, thinking, will he won’t he turn up!

 

The Kingstanding Odean in the 1960’s. Copyright Ron Jameson.

Memories of Rob Andrews

Did you ever sneak in the back door near the toilets? we used to put all our money together, one would pay to go in and then open the back door for the rest off us.

 

Memories of Rob Andrews

Does anyone remember the Odeon song? If not, here goes

We come along each Saturday morning, greeting everybody with a smile
We come along each Saturday morning, knowing it’s well worth while
As members of the Odeon club we all intend to be
good citizens when we grow up and champion of the free
We come along each Saturday morning
greeting everybody with a smile, smile, smile
Greeting everybody with a smile

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Responses

  1. The Odeon Cinema, was a regular saturday morning matany, i used to walk from home on my own and meet up with others about my age (10), some weeks i had to drag my younger sister along with me if she was awake when i left, there was always a Cowboy movie on plus a cartoon and the serial about Flash Gordon but thankfully no adds.
    Rain Snow and the occasional sunshine and i would be there.
    The Odeon was a grand Place to a young boy in those days

  2. I cant remember the Odeon being a cinema, but i do recall it becoming a bingo hall in about 1973 up untill 1999 when i left and moved away from the Kingstanding area, i recall my gran and granddad ( annie and edward raven who used to live at 31 Esher road kingstanding) attending there to play bingo – i now live in halifax west yorkshire – but i do have fond memories of the Kingstanding area, such of my childhood days playing in sutton park, half a mile walk from kingstanding up rough road, bar beacon, kingstanding swimming baths etc.

  3. I was a regular at the Saturday morning matinee at the Odeon Cinema. I remember cowboy films with Roy Rogersand his horse, Trigger, and Gene Autrey. One never to be forgotten occasion I let my friend hold my teddy bear, and she came out without it. We looked in vain, but he was lost for ever!
    Later, the Odeon was a venue for dates, and I remember waiting outside on chilly evenings, thinking, will he won’t he turn up!

  4. Hi Alan, Thanks’ for the memories, Did you ever sneak in the back door near the toilets? we used to put all our money together, one would pay to go in and then open the back door for the rest off us

  5. Hi Rob, No I cant say i ever remember sneaking in through the back door, i do remember it was quite a lavish place though with a big foyer, i also remember it had an organ that popped up some weeks on the left of the screen, Great entertainment for Kids before television..

  6. Does anyone remember the Odeon song? If not, here goes

    We come along each Saturday morning, greeting everybody with a smile
    We come along each Saturday morning, knowing it’s well worth while
    As members of the Odeon club we all intend to be
    good citizens when we grow up and champion of the free
    We come along each Saturday morning
    greeting everybody with a smile, smile, smile
    Greeting everybody with a smile 🙂

    I can’t remember what I said a few moments ago, but I still remember that……… and my Mom’s Co op number.

    I remember Gaby Hayes…the only problem is that I look like him now.

    • Pretty good going remembering the words to that song Rob, I can remember Mom’s old Co op number and my army number but not my Present car number plate. Daft en it.

  7. Same here Alan, must be old age…..:(
    I still just about remember the end of the war, My Dad got me out of bed to watch the buses driving down Bandywood road feastooned with light, He held me on his shoulders, I didn’t really know what was happening at the time.

  8. Hi Rob have only just seen your memories of Kingstanding and especially Bandywood Road, if I had had a dad at the end of the war he would have had a job getting me on to his shoulders as I was 12 an I lived in Twickenham Road with my gran. I do remember Bandywood Road very well as I used to get the 29a bus once a week to my aunts in Ringinglow Road on the Pheasey estate, the bus stopped near to a very large pub which I know is now called buffet island, my nephew who lives on Kingstanding Road had his wedding buffet there, sadly I couldnt get there but have passed it recently on the way to my lifelong schoolfriends who live in Waverley Avenue near the terminus. I do remember the american soldiers and the gum and nylons but I was much too young (at least for the nylons) but my boyfriend and fiancee bought me nylons from the spivs in the Bull Ring and he lodged with a lovely lady Mrs Lambert at 51 Bandywood it was almost opposite the bus stop at the top of the hill before going down to the pub. He got married from there and we lived there for a year before buying a house in Witton for £900. It was lovely hearing about Bandywood – I will be up that way in Oct for my 79th birthday with schoolfriends. Im up north now but miss Kingstanding but glad to say I can still get down there. Hope youre well Rob and your family. Shirley.

  9. The Odeon Cinema was built in 1935/6 and was originally to be called the Beacon but was aquired by Oscar Deutsch organisation and called the “ODEON ” which is an acronym for “Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation”
    It is considered to be of outstanding design and in 1980 was awarded Grade 2 listed building status. (info via google)

    I went to the Saturday morning matinees there as a nipper in 1944. Like Rob Andrew I remember singing the words of a song projected on to the screen and a ball bouncing above them to keep us in time. I thought it was the “Ovalteenies” ?? but perhaps I got that from somewhere else ?
    Do you remember when the film broke or the was a cowboy chase we would tip our seats up and kick our heels against the plywood seat panels. The noise was terrific, it would drive the manager wild but neither he nor his staff could do a thing . We all enjoyed our visits to the kids matinee at the Odeon
    Happy Memories

    ps Oscar Deutsch and the designer of the Odeon were both Birmingham men and the Odeon is something for Kinstanding to be proud of

  10. When did it close, and what was the last film shown. The last film I saw there was the road to Hong Kong I think.

    • The Odeon closed on 1st December 1962 with the 1955 film; Audie Murphy in “To Hell and Back”. It opened on 22nd July 1935 with Gary Cooper in “Lives of a Bengal Lancer”.

  11. My Nan was an usherette there in the early days. Her name was Edith and she lived in Brockwell Road.


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