Collection: John Maltby

1930 - 1939
Collection containing Photographic material
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The collection is a record of selected cinemas, predominantly operated by the Odeon corporation and photographed by John Maltby during the 1930s.

Maltby had moved from his native north-west to London, where in 1935 he set up a photographic studio. In that same year he received a commission to photograph every cinema in the rapidly expanding Odeon chain. Commissions for further cinema and theatre work soon followed.

The collection includes 280 catalogued files, containing 1190 prints and 1160 photographic negatives. The coverage is national, but with particular emphasis on London and the south east. As well as the Odeon empire, many other cinemas also feature including Ritz, Regal, Astoria, Majestic and Capitol.

An additional component of 4723 Maltby negatives depicting industrial and public buildings (taken between the 1940s to 1960s) has not been fully catalogued.

Archival History

The collection was received from George Tanner, former director of John Maltby Ltd.

Prints of the (Odeon) cinemas have been placed in Building Files. The catalogue entries are organised hierarchically in a collection - building file - and item (print) structure. Occasionally a Building File may additionally contain non-Maltby material catalogued under a photographic job (level 4.5). Cataloguing was done from a typescript listing of all the cinema photography.

This collection contains additional negatives relating to the 1400 held in RCHME Negatives - all of these relate to photography executed as a record of Odeon's expanding cinema business.

Some negs and prints selectively annotated by subject and number. Negs and prints selectively identifiable by subject and number list. Additional 4600 negs - comprehensively annotated by number. Negs identifiable by documentation held by the RIBA.


This Collection is divided into 183 Volumes and 46 Child Records
This Collection contains the following materials:
Photograph (Negative): 4,723
Photograph (Negative): 1,160
Photograph (Print): 1,190


Copyright Historic England Archive

People & Organisations

Photographer: Maltby, John


Mid 20th Century Cinema