Storyhouse Theatre & Cinema

Northgate Street and Hunter Street,
Chester, CH1 2HQ

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Showing 18 comments

Ian on September 12, 2018 at 12:53 am

Some images of the transformed Storyhouse, taken in August 2018






PROJIE on August 1, 2012 at 8:27 am

The above picture of the auditorium was taken on the last night 14 June 2007 by David A Ellis.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on March 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I’ve uploaded 3 photos all soon after closure, with one displaying a poigniant line from the Titanic.

curlew on March 13, 2012 at 7:26 am

The Odeon is the favoured location for Chesters new theatre and Arts Centre- the building has now been purchased by Chester city Council

Ian on April 21, 2011 at 1:16 am

Still derelict, with no decision on its future, in April 2011:–

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Davell on September 30, 2008 at 9:10 am

The first Sunday screening was ‘East Side of Heaven’ on 3rd November 1940.

Davell on June 19, 2008 at 10:45 am

Some of my above comments are in my article that was written for Steve Howe’s website based in Chester at However the above also contains information that is not on the above website.

Davell on June 19, 2008 at 4:16 am

I have written with Steve Howe the history of Chester cinemas under the name of David A Ellis, which can be found on the web.

smoothie on June 19, 2008 at 12:10 am

Has this article been mentioned before? Extensive feature article by the local Chester preservation group;–

Davell on May 28, 2008 at 9:47 am

Regarding the above comment, it should read The downstairs cinemas, which had been two and three, not one and two as stated above.

Davell on May 28, 2008 at 9:39 am

The first person to manage the Odeon, Chester was a Mr Harry Yorke, who had previously worked in Brighton. The opening was a grand affair with film star Douglas Fairbanks Junior in attendance.The cinema continued as a single screen until 1976.That year two more screens were added, built in the stalls area. A new projection box was built in the front stalls area to provide projection to the three screens. Number one still had two projectors with 6000ft spoolboxes.Projection from this box to the number one screen required an upward rake. Projection for screens two and three was from the side of the screens, by use of mirrors. Only one projector was used for each screen. Non-rewind systems were also in use. Odeon one used the balcony area and the original proscenium was still intact and used for Odeon one. In 1991 two more screens were installed in the building.These were created in the back circle.These new additions were called screens two and three.The downstairs cinemas,which had been one and two now became four and five.The original projection room,which had been closed when the building was converted to three screens, re-opened to provide projection to the new screens.Number one had top and side masking.The masking would open vertically, giving a large wide screen picture. For scope it would drop down and widen out.The scope, I thought wasn’t that impressive,but wide screen was great. A few months before closure a new screen was put into number one with side masking only, giving a better scope experience. Number one eventually went over to a single projector with a non-rewind system a few years back.

HowardBHaas on October 8, 2007 at 5:28 am

MAYBE not the end? Let’s hope!

From the Chester Chronicle Odeon developers offer `compromise'

Oct 5 2007

by David Holmes, Ches Chron Country

HOPE is on the horizon for campaigners seeking to keep Chester’s Odeon
as a cinema.

Developers behind plans to redevelop the venue into bars, restaurants
and shops, told a packed meeting they will consider including cinema
or arts provision.

Gary Hunt, managing director of The Brook Group, was impressed by the
strength of feeling at the gathering called by city MP Christine
Russell, aimed at saving the Grade II-listed art deco building as a
picture house.

He told the 250-strong audience at the St Mary’s Centre: `I would like
to think that somehow we can find some kind of compromise and a way
forward that everyone can benefit from.'

Mr Hunt said the overall scheme must make a profit and negotiations
were taking place with a number of restaurant and bar operators to
explore the options.

Many at the meeting expressed the view that young people should have
an alternative to drinking.

City tour guide Gerard Tighe said there were 8,000 students in Chester
who needed entertainment during the evenings and weekends.

He added that new hotels were springing up in the city centre, but
commented: `Guests don’t just want to sit in their hotel rooms.'

Ms Russell MP said Chester’s cultural offer had diminished following
the closure of the Gateway Theatre, which won’t be replaced for four
or five years, and the Odeon.

But she was heartened by news the former York Odeon had been saved
thanks to a community campaign which led to independent cinema chain
Reel Cinemas acquiring the building who were working with the city
council to restore the venue.

Community arts campaigner Rachel Dison said Reel and another
independent chain, City Screen Ltd, were interested in coming to
Chester and being part of the Odeon building with a view to setting up
a two-screen cinema and café bar.

She said City Screen had 19 venues and showed blockbusters, classics
and world cinema as well as running kids and senior clubs.

Guest speaker Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, former chairman of the Culture,
Media and Sport Select Committee, told the audience old-style cinemas
were picture palaces' compared with thesoulless multiplexes' of today.

He said: `The history of cinema in Chester doesn’t need to be a brief
history. You can keep it alive. You can keep it going and preserve not
only a Grade II listed building but preserve the cultural ambience.'

Charlie Seward, city council regeneration manager, said any planning
application to change the building’s purpose from a place of cultural
entertainment could potentially fly in the face of several local
development policies.


DaveRoberts on July 7, 2007 at 9:08 am

The end has come, sadly:
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Nice quote they left on the canopy, though.

jbn6773 on June 12, 2007 at 11:31 am

Sad News….another Odeon bites the dust

The Odeon is scheduled to close on 14th June 2007 after 70 years. It is a Grade II listed art-deco building. There are still hopes it can be saved from conversion to a ‘mixed use’ development of small retail units, restaurants and licensed premises. (Taken from Chester & District Standard , 17th May)

DaveRoberts on December 1, 2005 at 11:00 am

A November 2005 photo of the Chester Odeon can be seen here:
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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 14, 2005 at 6:24 am

An exterior photograph taken in July 1994 courtesy of Jeremy Perkins taken from the Cinema Theatre Association website:
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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 11, 2005 at 3:48 am

A vintage photograph of the exterior of the Odeon, Chester here:
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