Northwood Hills, HA6 1DA
Date opened: 28th December 1936.
Date closed: 22nd September 1973.
Owners: Shipman & King.
Architects: A. Douglas Clare. Andrew Mather.
Seating Capacity: 1000.
First films shown: “All In”starring Ralph Lynn and “Border Flight” featuring Frances Farmer.
Final film shown: “Live And Let Die” starring Roger Moore.
On instruction from Oscar Deutsch, architect A. D. Clare drew up the plans for the new Odeon that was to be built on Pinner Road. However, Clare died in July of 1936 and Odeon’s famous architect, Andrew Mather took over the site where construction was well under way. An opening date in late summer was penciled in, even the Odeon signage was in place. However, for some unknown reason, Deutsch withdrew from the site and struck a deal with the independent cinema circuit Shipman and King. During November the building had been sold to this progressive company who quickly re-branded it as the Rex. In fact things happened so quickly in finalising the deal that the Rex sign was simply mounted over the Odeon sign.
Shipman and King opened the Rex cinema on 28th December 1936. The first films shown were “All In” starring Ralph Lynn and “Border Flight”.
The wide and imposing cream facade of the Rex had four sets of double doors that led patrons into a generously proportioned entrance foyer that was styled in an Art Deco theme, with a large rectangular illuminated ceiling feature. The auditorium accommodated 1000 customers. A deeply patterned plaster feature set centrally in the ceiling dominated the auditorium. Series of slim and long decorative panel features were positioned mid way up around the stalls walls and punctuated with light-fittings. The proscenium had a series of plaster-work borders leading to the aperture of the wide stage.
The cinema’s programme would usually run concurrent with either the Astoria or Rivoli cinemas in Ruislip. which were also within the S&K Cinemas circuit.
The cinema remained in the control of Shipman & King until it closed on 22nd September 1973. The final film shown was “Live And Let Die” starring Roger Moore. The building was demolished for a site for a supermarket to be built. This too has now been replaced with housing and shops.