Odeon Luxe Darlington

220 Northgate,
Darlington, DL1 1RB

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Front Stalls

The 1885 built Theatre Royal (architect Charles J. Phipps) was operating as a cinema when it closed in 1936. It was being operated by John Maxwell’s company Associated British Cinemas(ABC) and they employed the architectural firm Percy Brown, Son & Harding to build a new super cinema. The building was demolished apart from the side walls of the old theatre which were retained, the facade and stage end were new.

It opened as the Regal Cinema on 31st January 1938 with Spencer Tracey in "Captains Courageous". The seating capacity was for 1,620 in stalls and circle levels. There was no provision provided for an organ.

It was re-named ABC in 1961 and closed in May 1977 for conversion to a triple screen cinema. The ABC re-opened 16th June 1977 with screen 1 in the former circle seating 590 and screens 2 & 3 in the former stalls seating 220 and 149.

It was taken over by the Cannon Group and re-named Cannon in the mid-1980’s, then it became the MGM and later reverted back to the ABC name. It is now operated by Odeon Cinemas. There was concern that a new multiplex cinema being planned by Vue Cinemas could lead to closure of the Odeon, but the Vue opened in June 2016 and the Odeon continues to operate. Current (2008) seating capacities in the screens are; 550, 181 and 123. It was refurbished and transformed into an Odeon Luxe, re-opening on 13th December 2019 with a reduced seating capacity.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 31 comments)

sdw
sdw on October 27, 2019 at 4:51 am

£7 for a recliner (£5 Mon-Thurs before 5 is seems)is same (well £6.95) as Vues most expensive seating (non reclining seats)

£3.00 less than showcase luxe at teesside so i think will do well (as not as many seats to fill as it once had once conversion done)

Looks like screen 1 will reopen 15 Nov (as thats when disabled access is back)

terry
terry on October 29, 2019 at 5:57 am

Photo uploaded showing work in progress in screen 1. A friend is visiting this evening and hopes to take photos of the place as it now is – presumably with the screen brought forward and the front circle floored over with the old front stalls sealed off.

sdw
sdw on October 29, 2019 at 8:28 am

looks like screen 1 is open now (other 2 screens now in concersion) £3.00 still (i guess till all screens converted)

sdw
sdw on November 19, 2019 at 12:17 pm

Has anyone been since luxe conversion (still £3.00 for the moment) Has Screen 1 had the screen moved forward or resized + S2 & 3 has screen remained same size or gone to 1.85.1?

Jamesnielsen73
Jamesnielsen73 on November 21, 2019 at 5:48 am

Went to Screen 1 just after it reopened. The front of the circle has been raised to allow for the wider rows to accommodate the reclining seats and extra legroom throughout the former circle. As a result the ceiling at the front of screens 2 & 3 is a lot lower down from the front of the circle. Screen 1 now has approx.160-170 seats, down from 550 and screens 2 & 3 appear to have 65 and 50 seats, from 220 and 149. The reclining seats in screen 1 have not been switched on yet as the existing screen is too low to view with them in a reclined position. When screens 2 & 3 reopen, the plan is to re-close screen 1 and fit a new higher screen – probably in front of the proscenium arch. Whether this will also include a redecoration of the auditorium (they have already fitted new flooring and carpets in screen 1) we will see, but the pink/red décor is looking tired. The stairs and upper foyer have been redecorated and new carpets fitted. AMC are spending a lot of money on this old cinema and hopefully it will continue to compete against Vue. Seat prices are still showing at £3.

sdw
sdw on November 21, 2019 at 11:50 am

Thanks for the update – will have to check out when all done -I guess the new screen will be fitted early December in time for Star Wars (maybe get 2 weeks of Frozen 2 in screen 1) as prices are £7 & £5 offpeak from 19th (or earlier if finished)

PhilipWW
PhilipWW on December 13, 2019 at 6:30 am

Officially rebranded as ‘Odeon Luxe’ from 13 December 2019.

Seating capacities are now 162 in Screen 1, 38 in Screen 2 and 46 in Screen 3.

Just Screens 2 and 3 have wheelchair access of 2 each.

Jamesnielsen73
Jamesnielsen73 on December 14, 2019 at 12:45 pm

They are supposedly putting disabled access in screen 1, probably when they do the new screen fit. Be interesting to see how they do that, possibly fitting a lift to the upper foyer then chair ramp into auditorium

Tony Newman
Tony Newman on December 21, 2019 at 1:19 pm

Well have been to all 3 screens now. The foyer has all new carpets and electric heating as well as 2 new ticket collection machines. Starting at the bottom and working up. Screen 3 has a new bigger screen and all new recliner seats. Screen 2 has 4 rows of recliner seats. Both have really clear picture quality and good sound. The stairs upto the foyer of screen 1 have new carpets and led lights on each step the foyer has new carpets and electric heating. Screen 1 has been completely re-stepped with the back row being raised up so that the front row is further forward than the old front row. All seats are electric recliners. The screen is still in it’s original position, so nothing has been last in the auditorium and the picture quality is great as is the sound. It has not been painted yet but I am told that it will be in the new year. All the toilets have been refurbished as well. So all in all. It is a really great cinema now with very comfy seats and well worth the price. Seating capacity’s are Screen 1 162, Screen 2 58, Screen 3 46

PhilipWW
PhilipWW on December 22, 2019 at 4:32 am

All Scope screens, I hope.

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