Prepare to bask in the glow of movie star quality as we turn our attention to an iconic Art Deco landmark in Glasgow. The Paramount Cinema, situated on Renfield Street, exuded glamour from its very facade when it was unveiled in 1934. Designed by architects Verity and Beverley as one of the city’s “super cinemas,” this 2,800-seater picture venue later transformed into the Odeon and welcomed legendary acts such as The Beatles and Rolling Stones. Although the cinema closed its doors for the final time in 2006, the captivating Art Deco frontage remains intact, preserving its allure while offering a retail space for visitors to enjoy.
A Glamorous Unveiling:
In 1934, the Paramount Cinema made a grand entrance onto the Glasgow scene, captivating all who laid eyes on its breathtaking frontage. The epitome of glamour, this Art Deco masterpiece became an instant attraction. The architects Verity and Beverley envisioned a space where moviegoers could revel in a luxurious environment, immersing themselves in the magic of the silver screen.
From Paramount to Odeon:
As time went on, the cinema underwent a rebranding, becoming the Odeon. This new identity not only continued to captivate audiences but also played host to some of the most legendary acts in music history. The Beatles and Rolling Stones graced the stage of the Odeon, adding an additional layer of cultural significance to this already iconic venue. The Odeon brought together the worlds of film and music, becoming a cherished space for entertainment in Glasgow.
A Shifting Era:
In 2006, the curtains closed on the Odeon, marking the end of an era for this beloved cinematic gem. While the auditorium has since been demolished to make way for office spaces, the magnificent Art Deco facade has been meticulously preserved. The timeless charm of the building continues to capture the imagination of passersby, reminding them of the cinematic grandeur that once filled its walls.
Although the interior may have changed, the Art Deco façade of the Paramount Cinema-turned-Odeon remains a tribute to Glasgow’s architectural heritage. Retaining its elegance and charm, the building stands as a testament to the city’s appreciation for its rich history. The ground floors, now designated for retail use, provide an opportunity for visitors to engage with the Art Deco ambiance while enjoying a modern shopping experience.
A Lasting Legacy:
The Paramount Cinema and subsequent Odeon have left an indelible mark on Glasgow’s cultural landscape. While the cinema may no longer be operational, its presence reminds us of the vibrant cinematic and musical moments it once hosted. The Art Deco façade continues to be a beacon of glamour and a symbol of the city’s architectural excellence.
In 1963, renowned American entertainer Sammy Davis Jr., a member of the famous “Rat Pack” and known for his roles in films such as Ocean’s Eleven, The Cannonball Run, and Porgy and Bess, performed at the Odeon on Renfield Street in Glasgow. During his set, Davis Jr. reportedly delighted the audience by singing “I Belong to Glasgow.” In an interview at the Central Hotel, he revealed that he had also performed the song on occasion to audiences in the United States.
The Paramount Cinema, later known as the Odeon, has truly earned its status as a movie star of Glasgow’s Art Deco landmarks. From its glamorous unveiling to hosting legendary musical acts, this iconic venue has left an indelible impression on the city’s cultural history. As the cinema era fades away, the Art Deco facade stands tall, providing a glimpse into the past and a reminder of the city’s vibrant entertainment heritage. The Paramount Cinema/Odeon façade remains a cherished symbol of Glasgow’s enduring love affair with the magic of the silver screen.