London Trolleybuses - #1768 passing the Odeon cinema, Uxbridge in 1960
|Click on picture [LTM39] for an enlarged version|
From: "Adrian Lyons" <LyonsAdrian@aol.com>
The 607 in front of the Odeon, Uxbridge brought back a lot of memories. Between 1951 and 1958 I lived in Harefield Road which
goes off to the right of the picture.
You can just see Philip Kidby's stamp shop under the Odeon awning on the far left of the picture, a lot of pocket money spent there left over from that which did not go on Red Rover [1/9 I think] tickets and LT bus timetables booklets [6d or 9d I recollect].
My brother and I used to use the bus stop on the right hand side of the road to go to school on the 455 to Gerrards Cross when we couldn't be bothered to go down to Uxbridge Bus Station, which was much more interesting, but a bit of a walk.
I can recollect the 607 turnround, in the middle distance on the right, was a folorn place with a concrete rockery and a few strangley shrubs. The crews just hung around I am not sure there was even a cafe. It was an odd place for a terminus. All completely gone now and but for the bridge in the distance completely unrecognisable.
From: "Clive Patterson" <email@example.com>
What a great photo of the trolley bus in front of the old Odeon cinema in Uxbridge. The reason
I looked this up is that I am researching information about the old cinema so that I can write a short item for my
local museum. They are holding an exhibition of Odeon memorabilia and I happen to have the first letter ‘O’ for Odeon
that I rescued when the cinema was demolished in September 1984. I wanted to show it with a photo of what it looked
like insitu on the frontage of the cinema.
Like you I have many memories of Uxbridge in those days and rode on the old trolleybuses many times as I seemed to remember that they ran along the Uxbridge Road through to Hanwell.
Looking again at the photo I realise just how unique that building was and how much more interest in architectural style than the building that replaces it. My article I wrote for the exhibit and a photo of the refurbished letter ‘O’ that will go in the museum show. I hope it is of interest.
The Odeon cinema
My memories of the Odeon cinema in St Albans don’t compare favourably with my earliest visits to the only other Odeon that I frequented in my youth which happened to be in Uxbridge near to where I lived at that time.
I moved to St Albans in 1988 and a trip to the Odeon wasn’t a very glamorous outing in those days as it was just starting to decline in appearance and attendance. Visiting by car involved battling for a space in a rough and ready car lot on the opposite side of London Road and then cross the road to queue under the small outside canopy [often in the rain] to gain access to the entrance foyer which even then was decidedly shabby. The interior was a lovely piece of Art deco styling which in my opinion is entirely suitable for cinema décor and which I hope still survives intact today and will be restored in the new Odyssey when it opens.
The outstanding films that stand out in my mind from my Odeon visits were a whole series of the Star War films that I used to see with my son and a very scary first viewing of Alien. Sci-fi was high on my agenda and the big screen was the place to see them, who can forget the opening titles of Star Wars as the letters appeared from the bottom of the screen and disappeared into infinity.
The old Odeon was a nostalgic venue where you really came to watch a film, sit on a swing down seat, in the dark with lap full of popcorn and a drink, and enjoyed the experience of seeing a picture on the big screen. It was a lot different from today’s cinema with the plush seats, Dolby surround sound and a digital screen all neatly housed within a shopping Mall accompanied with fast food, multi-story car parks and advertisements everywhere you look.
My reason for comparing St Albans Odeon with the Uxbridge Odeon is that the experience of going to either was similar in some respects, but the Uxbridge Odeon was a little more chic, it had chrome door handles and a tiled exterior in black and cream and a sweeping road leading up to the foyer, allowing cars to pull up at the entrance. I don’t ever remember arriving by car but my visits there always seemed to be a special outing – perhaps it was just my age at the time.
It was such a shame when it was demolished and made way for an office block in 1984. I was fortunate to be working in the town during that time and was able to rescue the first ‘O’ of the Odeon sign as it was pulled down. The demolition squad thought I was mad, but for me it is a real memento of a cinematic experience that I cherished and I am glad to be able to share it here – perhaps not in the condition it was when it shone out to the customers in the high street but what can you expect from an object that is probably 80 years old.