Discover the State Theatre in All of Us (1)
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Hong Kong’s first impresario is given credit due in an immersive exhibition which provided a journey back in time

I first heard of Odell, on my tour through “Discover the State Theatre in All of Us”, an exemplary showing of nostalgic relics housed in the Grade I historic site and the oldest international-class theatre in Hong Kong. 

From the entrance to the exhibition to the walk on the roof to admire the distinctive parabolic exoskeleton trusses, the theatre’s history was on show. Hundreds of historical artefacts, movie posters and memorabilia provided a journey into a time-capsule-like environment. The streets and sights of the 1950s North Point neighbourhood were recreated, complete with shop fronts and neon street signage.

One of the displays, dedicated to Harry Oscar Odell, left me intrigued. It noted, “Odell left a lasting impression on local performing arts and made his name on the international stage.” 

Yet I had never heard of Odell before. 

In this feature, I reveal the story of a man who left a legacy on local arts and culture.

Test & photos Cammy Yiu