A PICTURE has sparked fond memories of a long-lost Art Deco cinema loved by many in Herefordshire.

The old Odeon cinema in Commercial Street, Hereford, was remembered for its classic films and Art Deco interior before it was demolished in the Eighties.

Richard Sockett shared a photo of the cinema in our Facebook group We Grew Up In Hereford.

He said: "Anyone else remember this classic Art Deco building?

"It was when most cinemas just had one screen, a choice of circle or stalls, and if you didn't smoke you were politely requested to sit yourself in the left-hand seats?

"I saw everything from Where Eagles Dare to Saturday Night Fever and Grease here."

Some remembered hot dogs in the interval, while others thought of the Saturday morning club.

Stephen Kent said: "My dad was a projectionist at the Odeon. I watched numerous films from the projection room.

"Some of the interior signs ended up in Novellos bar, if remember correctly."

According to the website Cinema Treasures, the Odeon was one of the original cinemas in the Oscar Deutsch chain of Odeon Theatres.

It opened on April 17, 1937, with Will Hay in Good Morning Boys.

The stone front of the building was in a classical style to blend in with the town's historic buildings.

Inside the auditorium there were 788 seats in the stalls and 345 in the circle.

There were decorative arched features on the splay walls each side of the front part of the stage, and above in the ceiling were five long 'tongues' stretching out over the front stalls seating area that contained concealed lighting.

It also had a cafe.

The Odeon was taken over by the independent Brent Walker Organisation on October 26, 1975, and was re-named Focus Cinema.

It was taken over by the Classic Cinemas chain on June 3, 1983, and re-named Classic.

This did not last long, and the Classic closed on March 1, 1984, with Dan Ackroyd in Trading Places.

In 1985 the building was demolished and redeveloped into shops, leaving people in the community saddened at the loss of their much-loved cinema.

Kevin Williams said: "It was a crime to have demolished that cinema."

Others agreed.

Andrew Smith said: "Imagine what a draw an Art Deco cinema in the centre of Hereford would be now."