Of all the striking examples of modern architecture that sprung up across the British Isles during the 1930s, the cinema must surely be considered to have had the greatest impact. Pledge now to fund a striking, comprehensive hardback photobook charting the history and fate of some of these stunning buildings. Reward opportunities include your name in the book, signed copies, and limited edition art prints.
The Cinema - No other type of building could have succeeded in imposing such outlandish, extravagant and radical exteriors into the typical high street. Whether it was the appeal of the escapism they offered, the allure of the gorgeous charismatic stars projected on the screen or the fashionable kudos these places bestowed on the locality, they won over both town planners and movie-goers alike, springing up in their hundreds throughout the decade. A network of local and national operators flooded the country with brand new, purpose-built picture palaces, all competing to outdo each other both in picture & sound quality, and the sheer theatrics of the venue. Of all these operators though (and there were many), Odeon is surely the chain whose legacy is most enviable. A chain that not only managed to tick all the boxes required for a great cinema, but which (in many cases) commissioned some of the most unbelievably modern, daring, and unusual structures ever seen in this country.
However, faced with growing challenges in a rapidly changing society increasingly obsessed with television and home entertainment, many of these huge structures would struggle to remain viable. Though recognised as architecturally important now, countless have long since met with the wrecking ball whilst others continue to fight for survival.
Travelling the country, photographer Philip Butler has captured what remains of Odeon founder Oscar Deutsch’s groundbreaking empire in the twenty-first century.
'Odeon Relics', a 144 page hardback book will showcase this collection of exterior photographs taken over the last 2 years. Each presented with summarised histories of the building in question.
An essay by architectural writer Jason Sayer (Guardian, Architects’ Journal, Metropolis, Wallpaper) introduces the series, looking into the birth of the chain and the creation of its iconic cinemas. This spread over 12 pages and illustrated with a number of period images by John Maltby, the legendary English architectural photographer who both captured these buildings when first constructed, and also inspired this project in the first instance.
The book will also include a map of locations and a comprehensive list of Odeon cinemas built during the period and their subsequent fate.
225mm x 225mm hardback
144 pages on heavy 170gsm gloss paper
Traditional stitched binding with header band
It will be printed and bound in the U.K.
Risks and challenges
The book is currently at the proof reading stage and will be fully print ready by the end of the funding window. Following a successful campaign, the list of supporters who have chosen to include their name in the book will be added, and the document sent to the printers in Norfolk.
I expect an approximate six-eight week turn-around and hope to have all pledges posted out by October at the latest.
- (28 days)