Date of closure: Circa 1997
Address (for reference only):
With a capacity for 1148, the original Odeon cinema in Hemel Hempstead was only opened in 1961 just as cinemas were about to take a nose dive, but a striking fact is that a foundation stone was laid by Lauren Bacall, and not many cinemas can say that. A modern design, the proscenium opening was 63 feet wide, which is quite impressive, and would have more than made up for the Modernist interior.
Coming along at the historically unfortunate time that it did, it was never going to last long as a cinema, and from 1974 it split its time between cinema and bingo, and eventually closed when a multiplex opened down the road in the late nineties. In 1998 the premises re-opened as a Wetherspoons pub.
By Gareth Whieldon (January 2011)