Listing: Odeon Cinema. Opened Sept, 1937.
Became a bingo club after June 1983. Architect: P. J. Price of Harry
Weedon's practice. Brick and faience. Moderne Style. An
almost complete example of the Odeon style.
Literature: Ned Williams, Cinemas of the Black
Country, Uralia Press, 1982.
Comment: This building was added to the list on 5th
October 2000, following English Heritage's review of cinema buildings.
It was one of about 30 cinemas added nationally. Despite the
building's obvious interest and importance, this listing seems to have
caught the councillors off guard and some of them complained mightily about
it, claiming that they had not been consulted and that the listing wrecked
the proposals for the redevelopment of the area. This tells us a good
deal about the councillors but not much about anything else.
The building is typical of Harry Weedon's style; the
site architect was P. J. Price. The general contractor was Housing
Ltd., of Blackheath. The cinema held 1272 patrons in the stalls and
668 in the balcony. The opening was attended by Oscar Deutsch himself
and the ceremony was performed by the Mayor Of Wolverhampton, Sir Charles
Ned Williams, in his booklet "Wolverhampton Odeon",
published to mark the cinema's closure, points out that the canopy is not
the original and that "at the top of the tower, and on the facade of the
crush hall and balcony lounge, the name 'Odeon' appeared in geometrical
lettering in red and gold that had been developed for the [Odeon] circuit by
In 1973 the cinema was tripled by installing two small
cinemas under the balcony. About 1982 the whole building was converted to a
bingo hall. The change to a bingo club, typical of the time, was well
done, so that much of the original interior is well preserved. But
problems with the interior will arise if bingo attendances fall off and
Mecca look to convert it to another use or sell it off.