Odeon Milton Keynes

The Point, 602 Midsummer Boulevard,
Milton Keynes, MK9 3NB

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DavidSimpson
DavidSimpson on December 7, 2015 at 3:33 pm

I’ve just uploaded some photos I took when I visited The Point as easyCinema in July 2003. Running from May 2003 to May 2006, this was either a bold entrepreneurial venture or a foolish odyssey, depending on how one views this fascinating footnote to UK film exhibition.

Appalled by what he regarded as a waste of capacity, easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou was determined to end what he called ‘rip-off cinema’ and make maximum use of the seats available. His answer was to adopt the easyJet model, and offer seats at very low prices in advance, with the price increasing as show time approached. In addition, tickets would have to be booked on-line, saving the expense of a box office. Patrons entered the auditorium via a turnstile, operated from the bar code on their booking confirmation. They were free to bring along their own food and drink – and asked to take away their rubbish, all these measures being aimed at reducing the number of staff on duty.

But no cinema can operate without any staff at all, so a computer terminal was set up in the otherwise rather sparse foyer for patrons who either just turned up, or who were unable to book on-line in advance, and the staff mainly provided assistance with this.

An amusing consequence of the electronic turnstiles was the notices urging patrons to go to the toilet before entering the auditorium – as leaving and re-entry was not permitted for a specified time after entry!

Stelios tub-thumped an advance ticket price of just 20p. Not surprisingly, the major distributors were not at all keen on this, and his failure to obtain first run films signalled the death knell for his bold experiment. In the event, he persevered for three years, quite an achievement in itself.

As for me, yes, I got my 20p movie! I saw “Anger Management”, starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson, on Thursday 10th July 2003, when I took these photographs. As a comparison, price-wise, I was then paying between £4.00 and £5.25, depending on the time of day, at my local Odeon in Southend-on-Sea.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on December 24, 2009 at 5:06 am

FYI. MSN Entertainment News posted a story that singer Amy Winehouse was charged this Wednesday in connection with an assault at a Milton Keynes Theater last Saturday.
MSN cited media reports that the altercation took place after she heckled a performance.
Though neither theater appears to currently have live performances.
Let’s hope she wasn’t heckling a movie.

I see that there are recent remakes of of St. Trinian’s films too.
I remember the original ones with Alistair Sim.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 15, 2008 at 11:30 pm

The Odeon, photographed at night in May 2008:
http://flickr.com/photos/vwselburn/2580753905/
Photographed by day in August 2007:
http://flickr.com/photos/leybald/1202300681/
Another view in June 2008:
http://flickr.com/photos/paulmullett/2585839032/
As the easyCinema in August 2004, the beginning of the auditorium block is on the left:
http://flickr.com/photos/brock/165449/