Art deco cinema wins top prize in St Albans Civic Society Awards

The Odyssey team

The Odyssey team - Credit: Archant

Newly-opened cinema The Odyssey has reeled in the Civic Society’s top award and been described as ‘a very great asset to St Albans’.

The Odyssey cinema, St Albans

The Odyssey cinema, St Albans - Credit: Archant

It beat off competition from other commended schemes including the Warren at Earthworks in Hixberry Lane, Farrow & Ball in Market Place, St Albans, and a new house on Marshal’s Drive.

The Odyssey citation read: “It is evident that extreme care has been shown in the exceptionally sympathetic refurbishment of this art-deco building.

“Period features and design motifs have been salvaged or faithfully copied and used to very great effect, producing a balanced atmosphere of glitz, opulence, expectation, relaxation and comfort, all with great integrity.”

The annual awards evening was held at the Maltings Artists Theatre last week and the ceremony saw the introduction of the new Trevelyan Prize which is awarded to any project which has achieved the finest quality in terms of conservation and/or restoration.

City war memorial

City war memorial - Credit: Archant

It went to the Abbey Parish War Memorials and the St Albans City War Memorial on St Peter’s Street, the restoration of which was described as “a magnificent and worthy achievement to mark the centenary of World War I”.

“Drawing on painstaking research by members of SAHAAS (St Albans and Hertfordshire architectural and archaeological society), it has been meticulous in its execution. The cleaned and renewed stonework with its carved lettering and decorative surrounds reaffirm, quietly and without ostentation, that ‘we will remember them’.”

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Mayor of St Albans, Cllr Salih Gaygusuz, said: “I was most impressed with the quality of all the shortlisted projects that have been under consideration. Each of them is of the highest quality and is worthy of praise.

“On behalf of our city and district, I also want to recognise the Civic Society for the significant contribution they make to the life of our district, not least with their annual awards, which encourage and recognise excellence.”