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The world was changing. From the 1960s, cultural changes and special effects such as 3D meant that previously censored subjects were becoming more mainstream; controversial films such as The Exorcist and Clockwork Orange shocked audiences. Rank (the Odeon’s owner) resisted showing X-rated films until 1956.
Bands such as the Rolling Stones and Little Richard replaced the old formal dances of the 50s, and yesterday’s young boys and girls became teenage rebels. The formality of the 1950s was turned on its head.
Key movies shown at the Odeon during the 1960s and 70s included:
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Summer Holiday (1963)
The Exorcist (1973)
Star Wars (1977)
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Blue Lagoon (1980)
I was eighteen, out for a Saturday night in the early 1960s with two friends and our girls. We were all dressed up smartly, suited and booted, on our way to the Odeon. We get to the door, and the manager comes out, looks us up and down. ‘I’m not having your sort in here’, he said, ‘you’ll slash the seats. I know your type.’ The more we tried to argue that we just wanted a nice night out with our girls, the worse it got. And that was it; we were barred from the Odeon! I was furious. It took us a long time to go back after that.