One of the original Odeon Theatres built for Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Theatres Ltd. The Odeon Well Hall is located in Eltham and stands on a prominent corner site at Well Hall Road and Rochester Way.
The Odeon opened on 20th May 1936 with Gene Gerrard in “Where’s Sally”. Designed by architect Andrew Mather, who was assisted by Horace Ward, the building externally is a stunning Art Deco style masterpiece. The entrance is located on a corner of the building and has a wrap around canopy over the single storey entrance hall. To the right is a glass tower which contains stairs leading to the circle. Buff coloured faiance tiles are on the side of the building. On the left hand side, the brick auditorium block is left exposed.
Inside the auditorium seating was provided for 1,028 in the stalls and 578 in the circle. Bands of concealed lighting in the ceiling illuminated the space, and there were porthole-like light fittings on the side-walls. The decorative treatment inside the building was the work of noted interior designers Mollo & Egan.
The Odeon was divided into a twin-screen in January 1973 with 450 seats in the original circle and a small 130 seat screen located in the rear stalls.
From 1st November 1981 the Odeon was taken over by the independent chain;Panton Films and it was re-named Coronet Cinema. The Coronet closed on 13th January 2000 and has remained closed and unused ever since. In early 2007 plans were proposed to convert the building into a childrens play area and day care centre, but these have not been approved.
The former Odeon is a Grade II Listed building.
Just when I was at the back of my car getting ready to grab my stuff to get inside this cinema a car pullover behind me. 2 women with guns pointing at me asking me to spread my legs and hands on my head. It was 2 undercover cops I was shocked is this real? I thought I could forget about my location I was going to enter. They asked questions like what I was doing here. So I told them the truth that I was taking pictures of abandoned buildings. Then they asked questions like why there was a boat in my car or why there is climbing equipment in the car. So I told them the full story of my UK trip. They laughed and said I could continue so I just grabbed my stuff and went inside the building with a very confused head about what just happen. The location itself was very unhealthy pigeons everywhere and bags of asbestos were stored at my entrance. Just when I climbed trough a window at the building I heard a gunshot. I hurried inside. This night couldn’t get any weirder.