The Odeon Cinema

The title of this page could refer to several places in Ipswich. The most recent is the 'new' Odeon which was built on the old Mann Egerton site at Majors Corner. Opened in August 1991, this eyecatcher building at the junction of Woodbridge Road and St Margarets Street and St Helens Street – opposite The Mulberry Tree – was built as a multiplex cinema (total capacity 1,550), an alternative to sub-dividing the next-door Regent Theatre. Confusingly, the Regent, the largest theatrical venue in East Anglia, had once been renamed 'The Odeon'. The 'new' Odeon stood empty since its closure in August 2005. It is a modern take on an Art Deco cinema design of the 1930s; some like it, some deride it.

Then, of course, there was the purpose-built Odeon, opened in 1936, at the top of Lloyds Avenue becoming a bingo hall in 1982. This building also had the 'ghost' of 'ODEON' visible on the facade.

In September 2018 The Hope Church (formerly the Orwell Christian Fellowship since 1984), then based in Fore Hamlet, purchased the building and by 2020 had been refurbishing and adapting the building inside and out.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Odeon Hope Church 22020 images courtesy Tim Leggett
The 'ghost' of the earlier 'ODEON' sign is picked out on the discoloured metal cladding, repleat with drill-holes.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Odeon Hope Church 1
Tim Leggett tells us that: 'there is another sign on the Woodbridge Road side which just says HOPE'.

The Regent Theatre article on this website gives the origin of the name 'Odeon'.



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