Rare souvenir of Harrogate Odeon's launch in 1936 in new retro archive launched by National Science and Media Museum
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A new retro project launched online by the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford has uncovered a treasure trove of cinema nostalgia.
Among the museum’s discoveries are printed programmes of Yorkshire cinemas from the golden days of Hollywood glamour.
Most of the county’s old 'picture houses' have disappeared over the years but a few key ones remain in operation, including Cottage Road Cinema and Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds and the Odeon in Harrogate.
The museum's new archive includes a programme from 1936 of the launch of the Harrogate Odeon, still one of the town’s most recognisable landmarks.
Toni Booth, Curator of Film at the National Science and Media Museum said: “The museum has a vast collection of film and cinema heritage from the early 20th century in its archive, including ephemera from iconic cinemas right here in Yorkshire.
"The vintage programmes give a fascinating glimpse into the trends of the era from popular films, ticket prices to marketing styles.
"They reveal how central cinema has been to our lives for decades, something we hope continues long into the future.”
Designed by famed architect Harry W. Weedon, the striking art deco Harrogate Odeon cost £50,000 to build – nearly £4 million in today’s money.
Today, the Harrogate Odeon is a five-screen cinema boasting a total of 900 seats.
At its glittering launch on Monday, September 28, 1936, attended by the Odeon chain’s founder Oscar Deutsch and the Band of the16/5th Lancers, it contained a single auditorium seating 1,049 in the stalls and 598 in the circle.
The first film shown at the new cinema nearly 90 years ago was a minor British comedy film called Where's Sally?
Like the movie itself, its stars Chili Bouchier and Gene Gerrard are long forgotten but such is the iconic status of the Harrogate Odeon it is now Grade II Listed.
In 2005 the Harrogate Odeon even got its own postage stamp from the Royal Mail.