It’s all about that bass for neighbours of St Albans’ new cinema affected by noisy movies

Odyssey cinema

Odyssey cinema - Credit: Archant

A surround sound system in St Albans’ recently-opened cinema has proved a little too state-of-the-art, with noise spilling into some surrounding homes.

Yet, despite suffering some disturbance from the Odyssey Cinema on London Road, neighbours have voiced their support for the complex as it is trying hard to tackle the problem.

Shortly after the Odyssey opened to fanfare in November last year, it admitted in a newsletter to cinema-goers that the redevelopment of the former Odeon building had resulted in several teething problems.

It said: “Computers failed, bins were overfull, the fledging, though perfect pitch sound system shook the foundations and echoed around Lower Paxton Road like Concorde taking off in the garden.”

Neighbour Annie Robb, of Lower Paxton Road, said while there had been some problems, particularly when action movies such as Mad Max: Fury Road were screening, the Odyssey had been “excellent” in trying to tone the noise down.

She said: “When I let them know, they were very sympathetic and apologetic. We do live right next door.”

The Herts Advertiser understands that the cinema has asked the builders responsible for the revamp to improve sound insulation, for example to try different acoustic doors and curtains.

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Annie said: “I was worried I would have to complain to the council, but the Odyssey has been very cooperative; they are trying their best. I do get grumpy on the odd night when the noise wakes up my children but I would be even more angry if the cinema ignored our plight.”

She said that the problem seemed to stem from the installation of a state-of-the-art system in the 84-year-old building, with the developers not taking the acoustics into account.

The current cinema building dates back to 1931, when it was the Capitol, before becoming the Odeon in 1945, until its closure in 1995. It laid empty for years until a mammoth fundraising campaign returned it to its original glory.

Annie said: “It wouldn’t have been built for today’s sound system, and the cinema isn’t able to cope with the sound.

“Despite the problems we have experienced with the Odyssey I see it as a great asset to our wonderful city, and I am sure all the teething problems will be resolved.

“In the future we would love to see a Saturday morning kids’ cinema, like we had when we were little.”

A spokeswoman for the cinema confirmed the Odyssey was “currently dealing with sound issues” and would continue keeping neighbours updated on its efforts.