Report - - Old Odeon/Regal Cinema - Colchester - Essex - April 2015 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

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


"Take only pictures, leave only footprints"
28DL Full Member

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


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.


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)

The Start of the journey...








Of course there was a buggy !

Another hallway

Going up to the second floor

Old Piano

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



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



"Take only pictures, leave only footprints"
28DL Full Member
Thanks guys! Thoroughly enjoyed this one ;)


"Take only pictures, leave only footprints"
28DL Full Member
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
Cheers pal! :thumb

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


"Take only pictures, leave only footprints"
28DL Full Member


"Take only pictures, leave only footprints"
28DL Full Member


28DL Member
28DL Member
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!!

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