Everyman York

Blossom Street,
York, YO24 1AJ

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FanaticalAboutOdeon on August 31, 2017 at 11:33 am

31/8/2017 The former Odeon in York, now leased to Everyman, is now closed to enable the Company’s refurbishment/restoration work to begin.

terry on August 8, 2017 at 7:37 am

I remember York was converted in 1972 around the time of the many ‘drop wall’ Rank venues.

Ironically, in my native North East, the first such conversion was in my home town of Bishop Auckland which must have been the very smallest province where Rank were represented .

I knew the Manager, Walter Aylen, very well and he expressed his amazement that York was converted in this manner. He did say that it was good to have an 880 seat Screen 1 (that was the capacity he stated) but that they could simply have retained the front stalls seating as an ‘overflow’ area.

I dare say that Rank had a good reason for converting York (and Chester) as they did. Perhaps extra staff would have had to be deployed in the front stalls whereas the stadium plan could be served by the normal strength?

Certainly, it would have been better for the front stalls to have been retained given what Everyman now propose to do in the main auditorium. I am sure that under these circumstances they would have done a Muswell Hill type restoration with NO FLOATING SCREEN…..

Cjbx11 on August 7, 2017 at 5:15 pm

I never quite understood why Odeon gave York such an unusual and expensive conversion. If it was just to achieve a larger capacity for Screen 1 then I would have thought seating the frount stalls would have been a Simpler and cheaper solution and would have avoided the sightline problems. Or if they were gong to go to the expencice of extending the circle why not enclose the whole upstairs area and create a stadium style cinema as ABC did at many of their cinemas.

terry on August 3, 2017 at 2:12 pm

I have to admit that I have not read the plans, davepring,but ,given the sightline issue, the floating screen will, accordingly, not have to be any lower than the existing screen.

At least the new organisation want to make a feature of the proscenium via the floating screen being backlit but, yet again, we are back to the absence of screen tabs…..

davepring on August 3, 2017 at 8:57 am

the main problem in Screen1 is the sightlines. With the balcony extended forward the screen had to be raised from its original position. Having read the plans it would appear that the new screen will be fixed in front of the original and backlit to enhance the original proscenium

terry on July 28, 2017 at 12:50 pm

As you say, RichieA70, Odeon Barnet’s screen was brought forward and raised when Rank increased the number of screens from three to five. Prior to then, of course, it had been a standard ‘drop wall’ with the original proscenium housing the main screen.

In the case of Odeon York the original proscenium remains intact for, whilst not a ‘drop wall’ conversion, the circle stepping was continued to almost the orchestra rail thereby creating a very nice stadium auditorium.

The reversal of the original scheme, which (I understand) included the retention of the proscenium and the fitting of quality house tabs, in favour of a ‘floating screen’ is indeed lamentable………

I assume that the intention is to provide a larger sheet size but, as the existing proscenium is very wide, it is a great shame to compromise the integrity of the cinema in this manner.

I hope that Everyman have a change of heart and use Muswell Hill (which looks splendid) as the ‘York Model’ as opposed to the ‘Barnet Formula’……

RichieA70 on July 28, 2017 at 4:44 am

Everyman have done the same at the grade II listed former Odeon Barnet with a floating screen in front of the proscenium. The proscenium there is actually a copy of the original,rebuilt slightly forward of it in the 1990s in order to incorporate an additional auditorium.

Great shame none-the-less. There are fewer and fewer cinemas with curtains and tabs etc which greatly reduces the theatrical magic and reveal of the screen.

terry on July 26, 2017 at 10:14 am

So why the change of heart regarding the opulent stage drapes and appropriate lighting? I thought that Everyman were enthusiastic about such features in their traditional venues as in the case of Muswell Hill and Esher.

Perhaps some ‘whiz kid’ has joined Everyman and the two aforementioned theatres will receive the ‘floating screen’ look also.

I detest the damned things; they are just about acceptable in mini auditoria – but in the Odeon York main auditorium?……..

davepring on July 26, 2017 at 4:36 am

the York Press has just published details of the planning application.The main auditorium is to have a new floating screen in front of the proscenium which I think would be a shame.

davepring on June 28, 2017 at 8:21 am

This is good news. I hope Everyman restore the circle foyer and remove the false ceiling to reveal the decorative frieze that has been hidden for decades.

FanaticalAboutOdeon on June 22, 2017 at 6:06 am

Everyman are to buy the lease from Reel, they will take over in August and a genuine restoration/refurbishment is planned this time from September to December.

Everyman’s plans for the erstwhile Odeon are mouth-watering. A restaurant and bar will be provided along with reseating, recarpeting and new toilets/rest rooms. Detailed research has enabled new front doors to be made which will replicate the ‘30s originals and at least the largest auditorium will have opulent stage drapes and appropriate lighting.

Judging by what Everyman have achieved with acquired former Odeons at places like Esher and Muswell Hill, there is much to look forward to. Even the contentious and dilapidated Odeon sign high on the façade will have a new lease of life as the central ‘E’ will be restored with red LED lighting as the initial of the new name to complement a white name sign mounted on the canopy edge.

Tickets will be more expensive than Reel and we will get what we pay for, a Blossom Street cinema we can once again be proud of.

FanaticalAboutOdeon on May 14, 2013 at 3:20 am

The capacity given here cannot be correct. The main screen seats around 800, the two smaller cinemas beneath seat around 110 each while the little cinemas, 4 and 5, seat around 35/40 each so, I estimate, something less than 1,100 in total. 1,484 was the capacity given for the Odeon, York at opening and I can only assume someone has transferred this figure in error. A great deal has happened, internally, to this building since 1937 and the “complex” of today is world’s away from the fondly remembered Odeon Theatre.

TLSLOEWS on March 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Thanks for posting the photos Ian and Trousercowboy.Very nice looking theatre.

Trousercowboy on February 24, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Photos from 2009 here – after the Odeon closed and before The Reel opened:

View link

davepring on June 25, 2010 at 9:37 am

Screen 5 has a capacity of 35. 3D equipment has now been installed in screen 1 and is due to be installed in screen 2

jbn6773 on March 5, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Apologies, screen 4 seats 40, the proposed capacity for Screen 5 has not been announced

jbn6773 on March 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Its also understood that further work in Screen 1 will include increasing legroom in the central area of the auditorium, this will be done sometime in the Autumn, the rolling restoration of this cinema will now take about 3 years instead of 2, due to the current financial situation. At least Mr Suri is putting his money where his mouth is. 10/10 so far

jbn6773 on March 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm

After opening screen 4 in unused space on the first floor, Mr Suri now plans to create a 5th screen in the former shop space on the ground floor. Although this will only seat 40, it will increase the viewing options and hopefully allow the continued operation of this cinema. The space had been previously been earmarked for conversion into an Indian restaurant and is subject to planning approval. ODEON bosses take note: you can adapt !!!!! rather than call it a day and walk away

cinemad on February 4, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Hi Tim
All seems good for the Odeon york at the moment ..Reel is a great company.. Kept my local (and favourite cinema) The ABC Newport Wales open beyond its years. Hope to visit the York “Odeon” again soon I last visited In 2002 so another visit is well overdue.
best wishes Tim … Martin

Jlupton on October 27, 2009 at 5:51 am

According to the York Evening Press, there are plans to create a fourth screen in the former Manager’s flat and a restaurant in the former shop downstairs which means the large auditorium using the original Circle will be retained as one space which is good news. There are also plans to use screen 3 as a live performance space in November which is ironic considering Odeon never provided the venue with stage facilities.

Jlupton on August 24, 2009 at 9:38 am

I’ve just returned from a trip to the Reel (I have to stop calling it the Odeon!) and the transformation, compared to the last days of Odeon, is very marked. The whole place feels warm and clean now. The staff are as friendly as ever and were quite happy to plot out the programme for screen one (the original auditorium). Toilets were clean and smelt fresh (unlike the old days) and, overall, it can be well recommended. The auditorium is certainly looking good. The audience were certainly a bit thin on the ground for an afternoon showing of ‘Aliens in the Attic’ but I’m told it can still be filled for the blockbusters. Splitting the main house into two would be a shame after all this effort because it would loose one of the most unique features but the fact that this venue has reopened as a cinema seemed so unlikely to happen at one point that I can only wish Reel Cinemas the very best in this venture and trust their judgement as custodians of this fine venue.

davepring on July 14, 2009 at 7:01 am

Mr Suri is certainly the saviour of many former city centre Odeons and he is to be congratulated on saving York a true art dec jewel.
Now if only he could havr rescued Chester….city centre traditional cinemas if well maintained and updated offer a far superior experience to the shed like characterless multiplexes

TimAddyman on July 4, 2009 at 6:07 am

Apologies about the lack of a news post on the reopening. The cinema re-opened on the 19th of June and I went to the early evening show of Transformers 2 to have a look at what had been achieved in the 2 month refurbishment period.
Although Reel’s plan was to have a total refurbishment of the building before opening, these plans changed in order to get the cinema open asap and bringing in an income. Not that this has meant a botch job, far from it.
The downstairs foyer has been totally refurbished with the creation of a brand new ticket and concessions counter. New signage in the deco style fits in well and elements of the original painted decorative treatments have been revived on the grand double staircase and upstairs foyer.
New toilet facilities have been installed including a disabled one in the main foyer.
The whole building has had a thorough clean up, with carpets, still the Odeon 80’s style, having specialist cleaning treatment. The feeling of walking back into the main auditorium, Screen 1 again after nearly 3 years of being boarded up was brilliant and everything looks fresh,even though for now a lot of the original carpet and seating has been retained.
The seating has been been re-upholstered and is very comfortable although new seats with better leg-room may have been better. Reports in the press state they were re-upholstered rather than replaced because they were listed? Although the building is of course listed Grade II I have my doubts this covers the seating as well, particularly since none of it is original to 1937, the majority I would say were from the 70’s or early 80’s!!
The only current sticking points I would have would be the aforementioned lack of leg-room and also the sound system needs some work. Whilst the sound effects created by such a bombastic film such as Transformers 2 were smashing, when it came to the characters talking there was the old problem of echo and clarity ( a problem carried over from when Odeon ran the complex) I do however think these are just teething problems and should be easy enough to iron out.

Competitive pricing on admission is another sweetener with Wednesdays being only £3.00 all day and over 5,000 have already visited the building in it’s first 10 days.

Further refurbishment will continue and Managing Director Mr K C Suri has announced that he will hopefully be uncovering the former Circle Foyer mural which has lay hidden above a false ceiling for over 40 years.

Hurray for Reel and thanks for bringing this grand old lady back to life. I thought this day may never come.

HowardBHaas on June 24, 2009 at 8:49 am

article about reopening:
View link