Working your way around these pictures, you will find a building boxed in by huge scaffolding, a spot of nimble (harnessed) acrobatics, the front render, stripped back to solid 81 years old bare brickwork (which way is it facing?). During this rare heat of summer we came across this fabulous sign outside the Prince Charles Cinema off Leicester Square. It celebrates the wit of priceless independence, while 50 yards away the Odeon and Empire remain aloof, corporate and stiff from hoovering red carpets. The Butch and Sundance ten pound note is a tease. We have applied to the Gambling Commission for permission to run a ‘tenner’ prize draw offering Odyssey gifts (including named seats, first year early booking membership and opening night tickets). St Albans licensing dept has been a huge treasure of help and information. They have pointed us to The Gambling Commission and surprisingly helpful they are too. The title sounds so serious and stern but no, they are real people at the end of a phone, willing to listen and help. So upon their instruction, we have applied for the correct licence.
It takes six weeks to process, but our Odyssey project falls in to their remit for approval. So with any luck, we will open this prize draw in September. So make ready to take part.
A ‘like’ on facebook/website (when this gets there) will give us a fair idea ahead of approval, if you too fancy the idea. If it fails, we’ll think of something else.
We’ve come this far. Nothing will stop us now, especially not having enough money. Your ‘sister’ cinema, The Rex was broke a week before opening in November 2004, with cement mixers in the foyer. The dream is nearly real, the odyssey nearly over and reality, nearly real…
The naming of seats…
Naming a seat in the Odyssey makes a unique gift for a friend or loved one (and/or to yourself with your own name). It is an exceptional way of remembering someone with a passion for cinema, St Albans and the old Odeon. Or you might be a small company who wants to be associated with the place now, and have your name (in low lights) on a seat or row of six…!
The seat will bear your chosen name for the lifetime of the cinema. So forever(ish).
You can name a seat for £1000. It goes directly towards the costs of the vital final stages of the Odyssey cinema fit-out. After many expensive delays, unforeseen consultancy fees and costs such as the £130,000 ‘Environmental Clean’ (still under question), our chosen main contractor, Procare, is brilliant, unswervingly supportive, and keeping us on course to open in the Spring next year. But we need that final few hundred thousand. It no longer matters how much, we’ll find it. Not whining, or worrying, though we all felt much younger at the start of this great new adventure, it’s just telling you straight.
Two views from inside, each with daylight bursting in from broken parts. The man on the boards is standing on top of a birdcage scaffolding high above the auditorium (that’s the ceiling just above his head). Sunlight is streaming through holes everywhere. Take it in. When you see it, it will be dark with different magical lights, though never as magical as this again.