Corby’s Odeon building could be partly demolished

The Odeon cinema facade now NNL-181204-160157005
The Odeon cinema facade now NNL-181204-160157005

An iconic Corby building could be partly knocked down and turned into a block of flats if plans before the council are given the go-ahead.

The art deco Odeon building - designed by eminent architect Lawrence M Gotch and opened on March 16, 1936 - looks set to be converted from a furniture warehouse into 19 flats.

The original interior of Corby Odeon

The original interior of Corby Odeon

The tired facade of the building, which is on the corner of Rockingham Road and Stephenson Way, would be retained and improved but the auditorium, which still has many original features, would be demolished.

The building is not listed but has an important place in the hearts of many people from the town and is described as a ‘non-designated heritage asset.’

In its heyday, it had seating for 770 in the stalls and 272 in the balcony.

It was taken over in 1969 and renamed the Rutland Cinema but closed later that year and then became the Rutland Bingo Club. Since 1996 it has been used as a furniture shop.

The interior of the Corby Odeon still has some original features

The interior of the Corby Odeon still has some original features

The planning application has been submitted by John Kettle of Harringworth.

It states: “There is an opportunity to redevelop the building, infill the gap in the Rockingham Road Frontage and the largely disused courtyard.

“The proposal is to remove the former auditorium which will open up the rear courtyard.

“In its place we will construct a new block of flats that links back to the upper floors of the cinema entrance block facing the main street.

The plans for the former Odeon buildings in Corby NNL-181204-153155005

The plans for the former Odeon buildings in Corby NNL-181204-153155005

“The ground floor will be largely retained as retail with access to the rear flats.

“The retained upper floors behind the retained facade will be converted to residential.

“A second block of flats with ground floor retail will infill the frontage between 50 and 52 Rockingham Road.

“The frontage of the cinema building will be fully retained although adapted to provide additional window openings to the flats behind.

“A central light well will form an attractive central circulation feature giving access to all the new flats in this block.

“Having lost most of its character, we would add back the former entrance canopy and some of the original horizontal fenestration.

“In opening up the rear courtyard for off-street parking and amenity space, we will greatly improve the aspect from the existing Odeon Building flats whose deck access currently face the blank expanse of the auditorium.”

The plans feature 13 one-bed flats and six two-bed flats as well as three shop units.

All applicants of housing projects of this size are bound by planning rules to contribute to the council’s affordable housing targets.

In this case, the applicants say that because they have to retain the facade of the building, it will have a large bearing on the cost of the project and, therefore, their ability to provide affordable housing will be reduced.

You can view the details and comment on the plans here