The Odeon Cinema in Harlow, designed by T. P. Bennett & Son, was constructed in 1959. It opened on 1st February 1960 and in doing so became the first cinema to be built for the Rank Organisation (a British entertainment conglomerate) after the Second World War. The cinema originally had 1,244 seats and featured a stepped raised section at the rear, rather than the traditional overhanging balcony; a design style that had initially been common throughout the UK in both theatres and cinema houses. The projection suite was positioned above the raised section of seating and had an almost level throw to the large screen in front.
The cinema closed in 1987 for refurbishment and expansion plans to be carried out. The venue was converted so that it could feature three screens and increase its overall capacity. The raised section at the back was converted into two separate smaller cinema rooms, while the ground floor, which retained the original box and screen, was kept as a larger screen room. No further work was carried out on the cinema until 2001, when the venue was rebranded to follow the new Odeon style. Only minor stylistic changes were made throughout the building. Despite growing competition in and around the local area, as larger modern multiplex screens were opened, the Odeon in Harlow managed to survive until August 2005. Nevertheless, owing to the rapidly declining number of visitors the venue was forced to close as it was no longer economically viable to run. Although it was purchased almost immediately after closure, the premises have remained abandoned since the year it closed.
This ones been done a million times so as its local we decided to pop over to Harlow on a nice summer night and risk our lives to have a look. So I headed out with @Supersonic or whatever the fuck his name is this week, @UrbanDuck & @DRZ_Explorer
If you don’t know Harlow well it’s got a reputation for a “ bit stabby “ in the same vein as Adolf Hitler was a little unfriendly to the Jewish community. At one time it had the busiest police station in Essex, Hearing the noises from the local pubs I can see why…
After a bit of a fail, then a climb and some rooftop action we eventually found our way inside.
To be honest it’s far from the best cinema I have done, The projectors are long gone, however the projection room is still quite nice and we could switch the lights on for the main screen from up there.
The inside is very very dusty so it made it hard to snap and masks would be recommended, Not gas masks before any goons reading get excited……
The projection room is without a doubt the nicest part of this place however some nice graffiti left by staff members etc can be found in what is eft of the main lobby.