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Report - Old Odeon/Regal Cinema - Colchester - Essex - April 2015

Discussion in 'Theatres and Cinemas' started by Jordanchinkbmx, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. Jordanchinkbmx

    Jordanchinkbmx "Take only pictures, leave only footprints"
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    Intro

    After seeing this one floating around on here, I really wanted to go a check it out, so I got a bunch of our group together, and went to go and check it out. Had a bit of trouble actually finding a way in, but it was definitely worth the time spent trying to find a way in when we actually did manage to step inside.
    (This one could be picture heavy, and I was a bit trigger happy while I was in there, I'll try and use only my favorite/best shots) :thumb

    History

    The old Odeon cinema was formerly the Regal cinema. It was designed by Cecil Masey, a well-known cinema architect, and built in 1931. It has a Spanish-style gabled front and originally had an 'atmospheric' interior and included a café, Wurlitzer organ, and full stage facilities, with flanking shops on the ground-floor frontage.

    It opened in February 1931, with seating for 1446 people. Taken over by the County Cinemas chain in March 1935, they were taken over by the Oscar Deutsch chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. in 1938. The Regal cinema was closed in 1944, when it was damaged by a fire, and it remained closed for three months while repairs were carried out. It was renamed 'Odeon' in September 1961. The building was extensively remodelled in 1964; 10 years later the interior was completely reconstructed to provide three screens, and it became the Odeon film centre; a fourth screen was added in 1987 and two more in 1991 when alterations to the building gave a 30 per cent increase in seating capacity.

    The old dressing rooms were used as a base for Hospital Radio Colchester from 1975 to 1990. In 1992 the Odeon was the only cinema in Colchester. Live performances were presented at the Regal/Odeon as well as films - for example, on the 8th September 1964, the Rolling Stones played two concerts here! The interior was subdivided in 1974 and the cinema closed in 2002. Now empty, the building was put up for sale in March 2012 with a price tag of £1.5 million. The cinema played a significant role in people's lives before television. It is possible that more people went into the old Odeon than any other building in the town.


    Present

    Lots of dirt and damp laying around. Pigeon poo everywhere of course as they seem to love living in these old buildings, man do they make you jump when they come out of nowhere! Looked like there were a lot of cracks all over some of the walls. The actual theaters rooms were ginormous, really impressive in fact just a little bit let down due to the fact the seats had all been stripped out already.

    The wooden boards are still actually quite strong, mind the few odd holes here and there. Ceiling look like it had done its time, seems to be holes forming all over the place if I'm being honest.


    The Explore

    Got our group together at a set time (Which was slowed down by myself due to a lovely fry up) :thumb
    Headed out there, and scoped it out and we saw three possible ways to get in, and obviously, it would be the last one we try that ends up being the one that gets us in! Due to people in the group not feeling 100% about doing it, only 3 out of our 8 went in and checked it out, and we were not let down!
    Especially being able to watch all the people walking past Crouch St. Was good fun :D


    Last report I had seen about this place was by @slayaaaa and since he told me this place was still standing, same as him I decided I had to check this one out before it goes!:rolleyes:

    Photo Time

    (I'll put these in the order taken)
    One from outside... (Taken from Google Images since I stupidly forgot to take my own :banghead)
    large.jpg


    The Start of the journey...

    DSC01625.JPG


    DSC01635.JPG

    Graffiti...
    DSC01637.JPG

    Hallway...
    DSC01638.JPG

    Stage...
    DSC01640.JPG

    Theatre

    DSC01641.JPG DSC01642.JPG

    Of course there was a buggy !
    DSC01648.JPG

    Another hallway
    DSC01655.JPG

    Going up to the second floor
    DSC01656.JPG

    Old Piano
    DSC01657.JPG DSC01658.JPG

    View of Crouch St. (Not a very good pic I know)
    DSC01662.JPG

    Stairs
    DSC01670.JPG

    Exploring
    DSC01674.JPG



    Hope you enjoyed! :thumb
    Think its a bit picture heavy! Oh Well ;)
     

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  2. Lavino

    Lavino 28ÐŁ ƦEGUŁλƦ U$EƦ
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    Nice one mate :thumb
     
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  3. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    Nice one, well done for going for it and sticking a report up :)
     
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  4. Boomstick84

    Boomstick84 28DL Regular User
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    Well done for giving it a go and a decent first report.

    Keep it up :thumb
     
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  5. Jordanchinkbmx

    Jordanchinkbmx "Take only pictures, leave only footprints"
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    Thanks guys! Thoroughly enjoyed this one ;)
     
  6. projectionman

    projectionman 28DL Full Member
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    well done mate any pictures of old cinemas are great i was a projectionist for over 25 years and these pics bring back alot of happy memories keep up the good work
     
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  7. Jordanchinkbmx

    Jordanchinkbmx "Take only pictures, leave only footprints"
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    Cheers pal! :thumb

    Yeah, Theaters and hospitals are definitely my two favorite things so there will definitely be more to come!
     
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  8. projectionman

    projectionman 28DL Full Member
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    cheers mate also worked in a hospital for two years so 2 of my fav places also
     
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  9. Jordanchinkbmx

    Jordanchinkbmx "Take only pictures, leave only footprints"
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    Good to hear! :thumb
    Sounds like a theatre explore is on the cards!
     
  10. GRONK

    GRONK 28DL Regular User
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    Nice report mate, shame it's pretty much gutted.
     
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  11. Miss Mayhem

    Miss Mayhem 28DL Regular User
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    Good report, cheers for sharing :thumb
     
  12. KM_Punk

    KM_Punk Muppet
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    Good stuff :thumb that piano looks in better nick than what we had at school :p
     
  13. Jordanchinkbmx

    Jordanchinkbmx "Take only pictures, leave only footprints"
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    Thats normally the way lol :')
     
  14. KP4

    KP4 28DL Member
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    Amazing!! Does anyone know if this is still there and accessible .. would have to come from Surrey need to make sure its still around before the hour and a half drive!!
     
  15. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Unfortunately we don't have that luxury in the exploring game. You just got to go check.
     
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