ODEON supposedly stands for something – and people are only realising that recently

ODEON supposedly stands for something – and people are only realising that recently

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The fact that cinema chain ODEON is in all caps is pretty handy for grabbing your attention on the high street, but it turns out the unusual name is rumoured to be an abbreviation for a much longer phrase, and people are only just finding that out.

It seemingly concerns Birmingham businessman Oscar Deutsch, as BusinessLive reports he opened up the first ODEON in the Perry Barr area of the city back in August 1930, and two years prior, he had unveiled the Brierley Hill Picture House.

“It was one of the co-founders of that project – grocery store owner Mel Mindelsohn – who suggested the ODEON name after spotting it in Tunis, North Africa.

“Years later, it would become apocryphally known as ‘Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation’,” the article reads.

‘Apocryphally’ has a similar meaning to spurious, by the way – so widely circulated but unsubstantiated or of “doubtful authenticity”. You’re welcome.

The Facebook page Birmingham Updates also casts doubt on the reliability of the claim, noting that “ODEON publicists reportedly liked to claim that the name of the cinemas was derived from [the] Mr Deutsch motto, ‘Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation’, but ODEON had been used for cinemas in France and Italy in the 1920s, and the word is actually Ancient Greek.”

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This statement is actually true, as a quick search online reveals it’s the name given to an ancient Greek or Roman building which put on music or poetry events.

Even if ODEON is to be taken with a pinch of salt (or rather, salted popcorn, perhaps), social media users have only learned around the rumoured story behind it in recent years:

If we’re completely honest, we’re more interested in the movies than the monikers…

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