My Burton Odeon Memories……
My first ever trip to the cinema was thanks to my Dad. He was a huge motor racing fan and was desperate to see Le Mans starring Steve Mcqueen. I went with him and i’ve never looked back. For me that was the start of my lifelong love of movies and more importantly that wonderful old building i’m writing about today. Thanks Dad.
So….i arrive at The Burton Odeon cinema at least half an hour before the movie i want to see begins. I spend the next few minutes looking at the posters outside telling me whats showing this week. I’m also wondering which of these posters i’ll be able to get hold of, after the movies have gone onto other theatres. I knew a couple of the usherettes there and only had to ask for the ones i wanted. They were usually kind enough to put them to one side for me and let me have them. I still have most of them, some of which cover the walls of my spare room now.
I have a wander inside and as i move towards the ticket kiosk i have more posters either side of me advertising movies that were on the way here in the coming weeks.
The Odeon began life as a one screen cinema but later became a three screener. It had one main screen and two smaller screens. Most of the bigger movies began in Screen One and when audiences started to dwindle they either moved onto another cinema or down to one of the smaller screens for the remainder of it’s stay.
So i purchase a ticket for whichever screen is showing the movie i want to see and move onto the concession stand. Time for some popcorn and a large Coka Cola, and of course the latest copy of Film Review, so i could catch up on all the movie news and coming attractions. They also sold souvenir books and magazines related to the movies showing that week, most of which i bought and still have today.
I then make my way up the stairs to the main auditorium and through the double doors. Up one more flight of stairs and there it is…..that huge screen, hidden until the film starts with bright red curtains. The lights are slightly dim but bright enough for me to find my way to my favourite seat, front row and centre.
Theres music playing. It’s usually various film themes. The one i seem to remember most is the Margaret Rutherford Miss Marple tune. Always seemed to crop up somewhere in the playlist.
I sit there in my seat, popcorn and coke at my feet, desperately trying to read my copy of Film Review in the dark when after a few minutes the lights go down…….here we go. This is the moment i’ve been looking forward to all day……..