St Albans Odyssey cinema almost ready for its close-up

Monique at the Odyssey

Monique at the Odyssey - Credit: Archant

After around a year and a half of building work, St Albans’ newly restored Odyssey cinema is almost ready to open its doors.

The Herts Advertiser was given another exclusive viewing of the London Road attraction on Tuesday and found a building on the brink of brilliance.

Carpet has been laid, the lights are in, and now all that remains is to install the seats and bar area, ready for the first batch of guests to watch the very first film at the new cinema on November 27.

But most importantly, the huge 23 feet tall cinema screen is finally taking shape.

Framed by a golden proscenium arch and fitted with a wall of speakers, there is no doubt the screen is going to provide a film-watching experience like no other.

Around 430 people will be able to pile into the long-awaited cinema on that winter Thursday to enjoy a film and experience a cutting edge sound system not being used anywhere else.

An art-deco theme and a curved-style aesthetic run throughout all the design features with ship-style port holes punctuating the main doors, and soft-lighting framing 1930’s characteristics.

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Richard Macan-Lind, the architect charged with reviving the building, said of the challenge to restore the cinema: “We worked with the existing building and tried to preserve it as much as we could.

“We looked at original photographs and worked closely with [owner] James Hannaway to get the design right.”

He added: “I don’t think anyone can take sole credit for this though, it’s been a collaborative effort, everyone’s come together.”

The Odyssey’s long opening weekend is from November 27-30, with the regular film programme commending on December 1.