Published: 05:00, 13 October 2021
| Updated: 14:53, 13 October 2021
Cinema-goers in Canterbury won’t be enjoying a trip to the city’s Odeon any time soon, as the venue will be remain closed until next year.
The two-screen cinema in St George’s Place, off the ring-road, has not shown any films since before the pandemic and part of the site has been housing a Covid vaccination clinic.
It has now been confirmed the closure will roll into 2022 - but a specific date has not yet been given.
Bosses instead state they “hope” to reopen next year following the completion of internal construction work.
With the release of the new James Bond film No Time to Die, now would seem the ideal time to get bums on seats for the first time in more than a year - yet the screens remain out-of-action.
A spokesman said: “Odeon Canterbury is currently undergoing some construction work meaning we are temporarily closed.
“We hope to reopen in 2022 and look forward to welcoming guests back to the big screen.”
Other Odeons which have been used as vaccination centres elsewhere in the UK have either partially or fully reopened after the government gave the green light to do so back in May.
Its continual closure means the city centre Curzon in Westgate Hall Road remains the only large-scale cinema on offer in Canterbury.
With it being at the higher-end of the market, with adult tickets costing £13.75 each compared to £10 at the Odeon, those wanting to pay less to watch a film are having to head out of the district - the nearest Odeons being in Chatham or Maidstone.
In what will become the city’s biggest cinema, a new five-screen Curzon will soon be opening at the Kingsmead development opposite Sainsbury’s.
It was previously earmarked to launch this autumn, yet it is now hoped to open in summer 2022.
While the reopening date of Odeon has been pushed back until next year, the entertainment chain is set to soon learn whether its application to beef up security at the site gets approved.
The firm wants to install a roller blockade on the external entrance lobby. If approved, the shutters would be pulled down each day after the closure of the cinema to prevent it being damaged out-of-hours.
The application has however attracted objections from concerned neighbours who fear the shutters will do quite the opposite.
Andrew Tomes said: "The shutters will attract graffiti as experienced by similar local shutter installations.
"Odeon fails to remove existing graffiti which in turn attracts more. I am concerned the shutters will attract graffiti, will not be cleaned and result in the front of the building looking unsightly."
His views are echoed by Guy Mayhew, who also questions the intentions of Odeon.
"The future viability of this facility in its current use is questionable, therefore it could be viewed that the installation of roller shutter will help facilitate mothballing the site - leading to further detriment of the area," he said.