Odeon Cinema, Bath.

Photographed on 9th June 1936.

Odeon Cinema,

16 Southgate Street,

Bath, BA1


Owners:  Union Cinemas Co. Ltd.~ County Cinemas, Odeon Theatres (Bath) Ltd.

Original name:  Picturedrome Cinema.

Date opened:  Early 1911.

Original seating capacity:  580.

Date acquired Union Cinemas Co. Ltd. and redesigned: 1929.

Seating Capacity: 863.

Date acquired by Odeon Theatres (Bath) Ltd:  31st July 1935.   

Date Closed:  Saturday 13th December 1969.

Last film shown: “The Undefeated” starring John Wayne and Rock Hudson.

Building demolished.



Opened at the beginning of 1911, this purpose built silent cinema on Southgate Street, Bath, was originally known as the Picturedrome with a seating capacity of 580.

When the talkies took over from the silent screen in 1929 the business was acquired by Union Cinemas Co. Ltd. They promptly closed the cinema for major alterations and completely refurbished it.  The small façade was of a classical style, fashioned in Bath stone. A canopy spanned the full width of the frontage giving cover to the steps of the main entrance that unusually had no doors. Roll down open grill shutters were used to secure the building at the daily close of business.

The auditorium had a barrel ceiling, divided into segments by seven decorative bands that drew the eye towards the proscenium that was not flanked with splay walls. House-lighting consisted of overhead chandeliers and wall light fittings.   The stalls area had now been altered to accommodate 714 patrons with a further 149 in the circle, giving a total seating capacity of 863. It re-opened as the Regal Cinema.

Another change of ownership took place in early 1935 when the County Cinemas circuit took control. Within months of this acquisition the cinema was purchased by Oscar Deutsch on 31st July 1935 and was rebranded as Odeon later that year.

November 30th, 1935.

The projection equipment was Kalee 12s with Western Electric Sound. DC power to the exciter lamps on this sound system was provided by batteries that had to be charged up every other day.  Later the projectors were replaced with Kalee 21s. The restricted stage width meant that when CinemaScope arrived at this Odeon the screen dimensions were compromised and the intended impact of this new format was lost.

Pictured in the early 1960s.

Despite its small seating capacity, the theatre played a central part each year in the Bath Festival. A major problem for the cinema was that it was susceptible to flooding from the nearby River Avon causing closure for seats and carpets that had to be replaced and the cinema dried out.

Click the above from to view the trailer of “The Undefeated”

The final film shown was “The Undefeated” starring John Wayne and Rock Hudson.  The Odeon closed on Saturday 13th December 1969.  Property developers had bought up the site, along with several other buildings with an intention of clearing the area to make way for the Southgate Shopping Centre.