Odeon York To Close
YORK, ENGLAND — After over 2 years of uncertainty, the owners of the 1937 art deco Odeon York, have confirmed that the building is to close in August this year.
This is despite a rigorous campaign by local residents, which produced a petition of over 13,000 signatures in just over 9 weeks, and celebrity support by Dame Judi Dench, who was born and raised in the city.
Since it was announced that the cinema was being assessed for ‘economic viability’ the condition of the interior has been allowed to deteriorate, which carpets held together with tape, roped off seating, disgusting toilet facilities and naked light bulbs hanging from light fittings.
Investment in the property has been lacking for a number of years and they seem to have deliberately run it into the ground.
The building is a unique survivor of the 1930’s Odeon circuit and was designed in red brick facing rather than the usual cream faience tiling prevalent on other Odeon buildings. This was due to the close proximity of the cinema to Yorks historic city walls and stipulations laid down by the city councillors.
As such York gained a beautiful streamlined picture house that has entertained people for nearly 70 years. It also retains the last 1930’s Odeon signage in the whole circuit.
The owners have said that the decision was taken ‘with regret’ and was due to increasing pressure from other venues in the area, an arts cinema and a 12-screen multiplex. This seems a poor excuse on their behalf as the multiplex has been running for 16 years and is the most expensive cinema to visit.
Rather more cryptically is that they have said they no longer own the building but lease it from a property management company!
At a time when York is experiencing a renaissance in housing developments, retail, tourist attractions and nightlife, it seem ludicrous that the Odeon cannot be a part of the cities future.
What is perhaps more telling is the fact that the whole Odeon circuit is now owned, not by an entertainment company, but a private equity firm, more concerned in property development than property investment.
As a campaigner I intend to carry on fighting to secure the future of this fantastic building.
This is a grand old lady in need of a sensitIve restoration to bring back her 1930’s glory.
I would welcome the support of visitors to Cinema Treasures.