Assembled for “Norfolk at the pictures” The Odeon stood on Botolph Street, long before it became the Odeon that glowered down in a 70s style over Magdalen Street, which is of course now a Hollywood cinema, with it’s ‘no clues there’ logotype. This particular incarnation dates to 1938, a rather lovely old style cinema, there a photo of the interior on the English Heritage website which show a plush but minimalist interior. I’m just about old enough to remember this place, but sadly I don’t at all. I do remember the cleaners on the left though on Calvert Street, where I’m standing to do this. there was also another Dry Cleaners further down on the left right into the 1980s, where, in about 1986 me and couple of Piggly Wigglys (the Norwich noise band not the chain of US supermarkets) tried to make a classic pre-indie noise-nik video using super 8 cameras. HMSO security put paid to that very quickly, using a nice Anglo-Saxon epithet or two involving going away and some other stuff.
This is from what is now Botolph Street, which was the top end of St George’s Street and before that Middle Street, Calvert Street which ran under Sovereign House is lost*. This area had gradually deteriorated for a while before Anglia Square signed their death warrant. I’d love to see this as a bustling little area again.
Interestingly, for me at least, I couldn’t take this from where Derek Cork stood, as there’s a fence in the way to stop people getting bits of broken not very stationary Stationery office on their heads, I believe Derek was working at Anglia TV round the corner when he took this on a borrowed camera from somebody at Work. Thanks to both of them, as without that and the History Wall project and Derek and Janet’s modafinilsmart generosity, this little beauty of a photo would quite possibly never have seen the light of day.
This is different, curiously, I’d not created a colour ghost before, The original is by Geoffrey Goreham heavily yellowed, not uncommon with some transparency films from the era and the way they degrade. It’s oddly pleasing. And was my type of building, I like the shape and the shuttering, it’s not unlike an old radio.
You can see clearly here the way the Odeon sat on the then Botolph Street, This is looking up along Middle Street at what is now a slightly down at heel car park. This was of course replaced by the quite huge Odeon in Anglia Square which if memory serves me correctly was one giant screen until the mid to end of the 1980s, but now is a multi-screen. I miss how it was because it was painted white and had an Odeon logo on it. Funnily enough it’s still my favourite cinema in the city.
So anyway, this little beauty is from the real era and formed the flank of a whole community that partially vanished when the Magdalen Street Wall was built, by which I mean Anglia Square and the Brutish HMSO which cancelled sight-lines and voided St Augustines from Anglia Square. Ho hum, such is progress.
Original Photo Geoffrey Goreham, Used with the kind permission of Picture Norfolk/NCC.
The interior shot by John Maltby, taken in the 1930s is here
Original Photo: Derek Cork, 1971.
More ghosts and rephotography here.
*thanks to Jay for pointing out my previous error here. This street was St Georges Street, and Middle Street which stretched to Colegate, where it joined Bridge Street, or now Botolph Street which goes as far as the Ringroad, which turns into St Georges. Time being confusing at err, times.