The title of this page could refer to several places in Ipswich.
First, of course, there is 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 most recent building is the 'new' Odeon which was built on the old
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.
courtesy the Ipswich
Above: this rare 1960s photograph from the Ipswich Society's
Archive (see Links), from the Peter Underwood
collection, shows the buildings on the north of St Margarets Street,
opposite the public toilets. In the left background is The Mulberry Tree public house on the
corner of Woodbridge Road. Clearance of these buildings is about to
take place at this time. The site later became the Mann Egerton
showrooms and works
and is now occupied by the unused 'new' Odeon cinema. The properties on
the other side of the road were cleared a few years later.
courtesy the Ipswich Society
Above: Brian Jepson's monochrome photograph from 1997 showing
the traditional deco namestyle.
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.
images courtesy Tim Leggett
The 'ghost' of the earlier 'ODEON' sign is picked out on the
discoloured metal cladding, repleat with drill-holes.
Tim Leggett tells us that: 'there is another sign on the
Woodbridge Road side which just says HOPE'.
Above: the west-facing wall of the Odeon showing the shadow of
the 'ODEON' sign, the cladding peppered with drill holes.
These 2021 images are couretsy of Mandy Gaylard.
The Regent Theatre article on this
website gives the origin of the name 'Odeon'.
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