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Our English Heritage: Odeon Cinema, Balham Hill, Balham, Greater London Authority (© English Heritage Archives)

Work / Architecture

Architecture: Amazing retro Odeon cinemas on English Heritage blog

Step aside all ye pretenders of yore; it’s time to show you my new favourite website. English Heritage – the body charged with protecting, maintaining and promoting the UK’s historic buildings – has launched a new Tumblr on which they treat us to images from their incredible photographic archives. With more than seven million to choose from, the Tumblr takes a thematic approach to curation, showcasing several examples of the same thing each day (today is gravestones, yesterday was railway signal boxes).

Earlier this week the theme was Odeon cinemas, a brand now often derided as one of the worst offenders of the banal homogenised movie-going experience, but at one time synonymous with beautiful and interesting architecture. These were cinemas as genuine dream factories, designed to capture and stay in the imagination before the films even rolled.

We love this blog, and can’t wait to watch it develop.

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Our English Heritage: Odeon Cinema, Cherrydown Avenue, Chingford Mount, Greater London Authority, 9 September 1935 (© English Heritage Archives)

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Our English Heritage: Odeon Cinema, Blossom Street, York, 1930-9 (© English Heritage Archives)

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Our English Heritage: Odeon Cinema, Cambridge Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire (© English Heritage Archives)

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Our English Heritage: Odeon Cinema, High Street, Brentwood, Essex (© English Heritage Archives)

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Our English Heritage: Odeon Cinema, High Street, Erith, Greater London Authority, 1938 (© English Heritage Archives)