Opening in 1938, this Art Deco cinema was designed by Norman Bullivant, a senior architect of Harry W Weedon; a Birmingham architect who designed many Odeon cinemas of the time. The design of the cinemas was kept very similar to keep costs down.
The first film to be shown in the 2000 seater cinema was ‘A Slight Case of Murder’ starring Edward G Robinson.
The Odeon in Leicester was one of few cinemas to survive the ‘bingo invasion’ of the 60’s after a drop in cinema audiences. Instead they held pop shows and concerts.
In the 70’s it was divided into three smaller cinemas with a fourth screen being added in 1987. Business suffered however and the opening of the Warner Brothers cinema at the newly developed Meridian Leisure Park added further to its demise. The Odeon cinema organisation took the step to open their own multiplex cinema at the former Cattle Market site known as Freeman’s Park which opened in 1997.
The last films screened at the cinema were Batman and Robin, One Fine Day, Karma Sutra and The Fifth Element.
The Odeon Queen Street stood empty for several years after closure. It was converted back to a single auditorium and re-opened as banqueting and conferencing centre ‘Athena’ in 2005. This is now part of the ‘Cultural Quarter’. The building was given grade list II status in 1998.