Wrexham Cinema Foyer
Architect: H.W. Weedon (1930)
Photograph: J. Maltby (1930)
Source: RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection
Hollywood glamour has arrived in Wrexham! Taken on the opening night of the Odeon Cinema, this photograph reveals a foyer full of flowers, pot plants and the odd exotic palm, all ready to greet eager film buffs when the doors finally open.
Ignoring this greenery, the actual architecture is clean, spacious and controlled. This is the essence of Art Deco: sharp lines dominate the design; walls, floors and ceilings are generally plain; decoration is limited. Bold lines zigzag around, most noticeably around the steps, the skirting boards transformed into a key feature. For variety, a few curves are introduced. Otherwise, effect is gained by the contrast between solid mass and delicate lines, for example the cashiers’ box, its plain, bulging base surmounted by the geometrical grid of the window frame. The materials used emphasise this further – most surfaces are flat and matt: doors, however are highly polished, and chrome fittings act as highlights, notably the central pendant lamp.
What a thrill a visit must have been. Whether or not ‘The Gay Desperado’ pulled the punters in, the architecture undoubtedly did.