After years of coughing, limping and general ill-health, the York Odeon is finally being closed down this August. Does anyone care? Apart from the staff (most of whom appear to be in various stages of undeath), it seems unlikely. I popped in on Sunday to watch Inside Man on one of the miniscule screens (about the size of a Gameboy screen), and there were only a dozen other people in the audience. And most of them had probably snuck in through the fire escape.
So why is it closing? The reasons are of course threefold:
- City Screen is more central to town, shows a better class of film (i.e. not Free Willy 2 every sodding week), and is just better. Actually, City Screen is better than most cinemas. And I’m not just saying that because I helped build it.
- Vue shows all the Hollywood crap you could ever need, and when you go there you can also marvel at the terrifying haunted shell of what was once Ikon/Diva.
- The Odeon was just plain nasty. The suits clearly hadn’t paid for anything but minimal upkeep and maintenance and it showed. It’s advisable to have a tetanus shot after visiting.
The building is Grade II listed – something to do with it being a classic Odeon design but built in brick because of it’s proximity to the city walls – so it won’t be flattened. Chances are it’ll become a nightclub, bingo hall or it may even end up being converted into luxury apartments. Like every other building in York.
I just hope the fish in the random aquarium outside screen one find a good home.