Odeon Cinema, Westbourne Grove, London.

Odeon Cinema

118 Westbourne Grove,

London, W2 2RR


Original Owner:  Oscar Deutsch/ Rank Theatres Ltd.

Architects:  Andrew Mather/ Leonard Gordon Allen.

Seating Capacity:  1870.

Date opened:  Monday 29th August 1955.

Officially opened by:  The Mayor of Paddington, Councillor Catherine Priscilla Rabagliati.

First film shown:  “Doctor at Sea” starring Dirk Bogarde, Brenda de Banzie and Brigitte Bardot.

Date opened as a three screen complex:  Thursday 21st December 1978.

Date taken over by Panton Films Ltd and operated as the Coronet Cinema: Thursday 24th March 1983.

Date closed:  Monday 9th June 1986.

Final films shown:  “Delta Force”, “To Live and Die in LA” and “Jewel in the Nile”.

Present Status:  Demolished~ October of 1986.



The Odeon Westbourne Grove was the conception of Oscar Deutsch to add to his rapidly expanding cinema empire in 1937.

Oscar Deutsch

His company had secured a plot of land on the corner of Westbourne Grove and Chepstow Road, located in the inner-city district of West London. Renowned cinema architect, Andrew Mather, was asked initially to prepare plans for a large 2050 seat “Super Cinema” that would be a welcome social addition for the Bayswater and Notting Hill population. Mather’s plans had been scaled down to a seating capacity of 1870 by the time approval was given in the March of 1939, and construction of the building commenced. However, the outbreak of WWII put an immediate stop on all building work that was considered “non-essential”.

After the war, the building was looked at by the company in a different light. Engaging architect, Leonard Gordon Allen, to revise Andrew Mather’s plans in order for the building to be completed.

Opening Day.

A solid, modern red brick structure evolved that was far removed from the cream faience tiled facades of pre-war Odeons. It was contemporary, practical and minimalistic in design throughout with a combination of Indian-red, powder-blue and straw-pink forming the colours scheme for decoration, carpets and other soft furnishings.

The main entrance foyer with an island paybox clad in sapele hardwood.

Durable sapele hardwood was used for doors and wall panelling throughout. A major change from the original plans was a proscenium that was much wider. With an opening of 46’ it was more than adequate for the presentation of the new format of CinemaScope which had recently made an impact on all UK cinemas.

Special tiling on the walls ensured that the large auditorium delivered sound of near perfect acoustics.

sewn on sequins on the curtains.

The tabs (main house curtains) had sewn on sequins that gave a twinkling effect when the stage lighting hit them, providing relief from an otherwise plain auditorium. Gaumont Kalee 21 projectors were the choice up in the projection room, with variable masking on the screen, operated by a touch of a button by the projectionists.

Projection room. Westbourne Grove Odeon.

At a time of decline in audiences, the opening made a refreshing change from the forecasts of doom and gloom on the exhibition business in general. Rank’s PR boasted that “Tonight, the lights go up and the doors are opened at the latest theatre to join the J. Arthur Rank Organisation’s proud family of more than 550 ODEON and GAUMONT cinemas in Britain.”

Officially opened on Monday 29th August 1955 by the Mayor of Paddington, Councillor Catherine Priscilla Rabagliati. Film star, Jack Hawkins, made a personal appearance on stage before a capacity audience.

The first feature film to be screened was “Doctor at Sea” starring Dirk Bogarde, Brenda de Banzie and Brigitte Bardot.

It remained a single screen unit until Rank Theatres Ltd decided that the cinema was to become a three-screen complex, with work commencing in the autumn of 1978. To complete the transition the building closed completely on Saturday 9th December 1978, reopening on Thursday 21st December 1978. The balcony area was now Screen One with a seating capacity of 698. In the rear stalls, two boutique cinemas had been formed, each seating 200 customers.

Although a significant investment had been made in these alterations, an independent exhibitor, Panton Films Ltd, took control of the building from Thursday 24th March 1983, rebranding it as the Coronet Cinema. This company also owned the Coronet Cinema in nearby Notting Hill Gate. However, little more than three years later the cinema closed for good on Monday 9th June 1986. The final line up of films shown were- “Delta Force”, “To Live and Die in LA” and “Jewel in the Nile”.

The site had been sold for redevelopment and was swiftly demolished during October of 1986. A block of flats with retail units took its place.