GILDED BY LILY ~ Mrs Lillian Deutsch

Mrs Oscar Deutsch, Lillian, was the interior designer for most of the original Odeon builds. She took great interest in the colour schemes, curtains, carpets and furniture. The distinctive Pel sofas, ashtrays, etc, were chosen by her.

According to her son, Ronnie, “she had a good eye for colours, particularly gold”, hence the expression~ “Gilded by Lily”.  Rich velvet materials, luxurious deep pile carpets were the order of the day for Odeon. Just as the distinctive exteriors played a role in establishing the Odeon brand, so too were the stunning art deco interiors. Each cinema being individually “Gilded by Lily”.  As “The charming and capable wife of the Governing Director” it would be her input that would be prominent in the final decisions taken.

Chester Odeon. Just one of the many Odeon’s that was gilded by Lily

Movie-going had become the national pastime, with close to a billion admissions annually in the UK. With the astonishing expansion of the new Odeon builds between 1930 to 1939, she was to be an important, and integral part of the success of Odeon. It is clear from the featured page of the Chester Odeon’s opening brochure, the high regard that was placed on her by her husband and his companies.
Widowed at an early age in 1941, she withdrew from her involvement in Odeon, selling her remaining shares to J Arthur Rank who was by then the majority shareholder. She was supported by her two sons, Ronnie and David.

Ronnie, who is now well into his nineties had little interest in films, unlike his late brother David Deutsch, who became a film producer in his own right, notably remembered for co-producing The Day Of The Jackal.

Lily never remarried and lived until she was ninety six.

 

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