Big stars and mini-skirts at Odeon

THE screens had got smaller, as had the skirts, when Glasgow's once mighty Odeon cinema subdivided itself into three cinemas.

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Where once the picture house could seat 2784 film fans in an opulent Italian Renaissance-style auditorium, come 1970 the building had been carved up, with much of its original Art Deco styling touches hidden behind false walls or covered with brightly-coloured velour fabric.

The end of balcony and stalls seating also brought to a close a Glasgow kids' game which had gone on since the cinema first opened, as the Paramount, on Hogmanay 1934; namely throwing boiled sweet and bits of chewed paper over the balcony to see if you could hit fellow patrons on the head.

Wise stall-goers sat well underneath the lip of the balcony.

The female cinema staff, seen here in all their mini-skirted, knee-booted and, in one case, ponchoed glory, were certainly a glam bunch. Mind you, if they stopped to pose for the camera in the middle of this junction today, they would be flattened.

The films on offer on the opening night weren't any great shakes; Cromwell, a historical biopic starring Richard Harris; Airport, a big-budget actioneer starring Burt Lancaster, and The Virgin and the Gypsy, a romantic drama based on D.H. Lawrence's final novel.

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