With Lockdown in full force in the UK all non-essential businesses are closed. This has had an impact on many places including cinema.
For a few days now the hashtag #CelebrateOurCinemas has been trending on social media so I thought I’d do my part and celebrate my favourites.
I’ve always been a fan of Odeon Cinemas. I’ll only ever go to another chain if for some reason I can’t get to an Odeon or I’ve won free tickets or something. My one addendum to this rule is for when I visit the Lake District, then I always use Zefferelli’s in Ambleside.
Why Odeon? Well, that’s fairly easy for me. I always like to arrive early to see a film as soaking up the atmosphere by looking at posters, standees and trailers etc. is something I enjoy. Odeon tend of have a good range of display when it comes to posters etc. In some venues they also have historical displays on the walls- most notably Leicester Square and Covent Garden. I have also found that with Odeon, the majority of staff themselves are also film fans and this can make for good conversation, especially if things are quiet before a showing.
Odeon also do something else that I really appreciate. For a small donation, they will give you film posters that they no longer have use for and the donation money goes to a charity that is close to my heart- Mind. Not many cinemas do this any more which is a shame and some of the other bigger chains have become nothing more than “cattle market cinema”.
I have three favourite Odeon venues I have used for a long time. Unfortunately, my first closed in late 2018.
- 1. Odeon Whiteleys- Now closed, this was my go-to cinema since the very late 80s. It was convenient for me and had a great atmosphere. It was also a great place to pick-up no longer used film posters. I have great memories of this cinema- I saw Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves there 17 times!
- 2. Odeon Luxe Leicester Square- I’ve been using this location since the 70s when my parents and grandparents used to take me to the movies. I’ve seen all the Star Wars films and have also been to many a midnight screening and film premieres there. It had a facelift in 2018 and is now my number one, replacing Whiteleys. I love the atmosphere in the Luxe and they’ve managed to keep some of the old decor whilst updating the rest of the venue. The staff are all awesome and they do regular poster/memorabilia sales- luckily, if I can’t make the sale day they are good enough to let me know what they have and get something.
- 3. Odeon Covent Garden- Although not actually in Covent Garden (It’s on Shaftesbury Ave) is another venue I visit. Its in need of a facelift but still a great little place to visit.
Honourable mentions must also go to the Odeon Luxe Haymarket as well as the now closed Odeon Marble Arch, Odeon West End and Odeon Kensington, all of which were on my list of great Cinema locations and hold many great memories for me.
I hope that at this time all of the Odeon staff are staying safe and hopefully are still being paid. See you soon guys and gals!