11 historic photos of the Odeon Cinema on Pilgrim Street- Newcastle in 1931

The Odeon Cinema on Pilgram Street was originally opened as the Paramount Theatre in 1931.

Largely considered one of the biggest architectural losses in Newcastle, the Odeon Cinema on Pilgrim Street was a thing of beauty- a sight to behold for theatre and cinema lovers.

Originally opened as the Paramount Theatre in 1931, a newspaper reporter on the opening night declared: “The Paramount was the most beautiful theatre I have ever seen. It was a cathedral of motion pictures. One minute the theatre would be all blue, then it was red, then green.

“When it opened, it created a sensation because the usherettes were dressed in trousers of French grey. The reception ladies walked about with a tray with boxes of chocolates.”

In 1939, the Paramount was bought by Odeon and converted into a cinema. The Odeon thrived for almost sixty years, holding pop and rock concerts alongside films. Sadly, the rise of television, VHS and DVDs contributed to its fall and it permanently closed in 2002.

The building was eventually demolished in 2017 after 15 years of standing empty. Today, the site is undergoing a major redevelopment. Along with the closure of much-loved bar STACK, the demolition has given way for the new HM Revenue and Customs.

These photos are often marvelled at by Geordies, dumbfounded as to how the building wasn’t advocated for more.

Thanks to Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums we can take a glimpse at the original Paramount Theatre the first year it opened.

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