The ODEON cinemas are iconic examples of ’30’s Britain. As with London Underground stations, they aesthetically denote that decade. Designed with a flourish of Art Deco and the modernism of Bauhaus, the ODEON’s also carried a social imperative.
Storyhouse itself was originally an ODEON (1936) and was part of a cinema network of over 250 that the Birmingham entrepreneur Oscar Deutsch built across the UK in that decade aided by the Birmingham architect, Harry Weedon.
So successful was Oscar Deutsch’s endeavour that the ODEON was known acronymically as ‘Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation.’
Oscar Deutsch had originally in the ’20’s been engaged with two other young Birmingham men in a film distribution company, Victory Motion Pictures: Michael Balcon (later to become the UK’s most successful film producer) and Victor Saville (who became an Oscar-winning director in Hollywood).
Roger Shannon, Professor of Film at Edge Hill University, will discuss how Oscar Deutsch, with others, entertained our nation, including Chester, whilst helping to create a national film industry.
Part of Chester Heritage Festival