Wanted: Your memories of Chester's former cinema


Staff reporter (Chester First)

IF YOU have memories you would like to share of the city’s former Odeon cinema then now’s your chance.

The Chester Film Co-op in partnership with RE:NEW and Cheshire West and Chester Council will be hosting a memory drop-in open weekend on May 17 and 18.

The event will also include short tours of the Odeon building and an art deco lecture which must be booked in advance.

Its studio on Northgate Street will be open for people to call in and share their memories and memorabilia of the Chester Odeon building.

Activities will include their curated film exhibition One Minute Volume 7, as well as artist Janet Hodgson who will be filming people recalling their experiences.

The Chester Film Co-op will be open from 11am to 4pm on each of the days and people will be invited to come and share with them.

Residents are asked to come forward with their favourite films and screenings, popcorn flavours and other stories.

Cllr Stuart Parker, executive member for culture and economy, said: “The Chester Film Co-op wants to bring the Odeon building back to life and back into people’s imaginations. The collected stories and memories will be used as material to make a series of short films that commemorate the magic of the building and life once in it.”

Local councillor Samantha Dixon said: “I am sure many people have wonderful memories of Chester Odeon and it is great they can be treasured and shared through the Chester Film Co-op’s work.”

Also this weekend there will be the opportunity to view inside the old Odeon building itself.

A series of short tours will run at 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm on both days and a half hour art deco lecture at 3.15pm on the Saturday will be delivered by Adrian Sumner.

Places on these are extremely limited and must be booked in advance. Booking opens from tomorrow on 01244 977993.

The Chester Film Co-op is a new, developing collective of local film-makers and artists who work in the Northgate Street area.

The initiative is part of RE:NEW which is the name of the development project, set to transform Chester’s 1936 Odeon building into a new world-class theatre, library and cinema.

The Chester Odeon is Grade ll listed and has been empty and deteriorating since 2007.

The project seeks to convert and extend the building to house new theatre, library and cinema spaces housed in a cultural centre, which will be the focus of day-long activity in the city centre.

A scheme has been developed which accommodates the needs of the cultural centre while preserving and enhancing the character of the art deco Odeon and integrating the building into the city centre.

The new cultural centre will be run by Chester Performs and will produce its own work and welcome the best national and international artists to the region.

The centre will blend theatre, music, dance, literature and cinema in what will be a nationally celebrated fusion of a library and performing arts space.

To share your memories visit chesterfilmco-op.co.uk/memories
You can also follow the film co-op on Twitter @chesterfilmcoop and use #odeonmemories in your message

To find out more about RE:NEW visit www.renewchester.co.uk

See full story in the Chester Leader

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