Odeon Hemel Hempstead
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Architects: Robert Bullivant
Firms: Harry W. Weedon Partnership
Another fine cinema which I attended frequently many years ago was the modern spacious Odeon in Hemel Hempstead.
With a foundation stone laid by Lauren Bacall, the stadium style cinema opened 29th August 1960. It was completed at a cost of 119,110 GB Pounds. Half the seats (at the front) were on a sloping floor whilst the rear section, which was separated by a barrier, were stepped. The side walls had a geometric design stepping down towards the screen. Sightlines and comfort were exceptional, the auditorium high and wide, all of which gave a feeling of spaciousness and modern luxury. The screen was vast, the proscenium opening was 63 feet wide. The screen curtains were a neutral colour with a sparkling silver diamond design running horizontally across in the lower quarter of the height.
At the side was food outlet, which later became a Wimpey burger bar.
In 1974, the Odeon switched to split weeks with Bingo on Wednesday Thursday and Friday and films the rest of the week. However towards the end of the century a new multiplex opened at Jarman’s Fields in the town and the Odeon in Marlowes closed down.
It was converted into a pub for the J.D. Wetherspoon chain named ‘The Full House’ that opened on 21st July 1998.
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