Odeon Journey was a Heritage Lottery Fund project in collaboration with St Albans Civic Society, St Albans Museums, St Albans District Council and St Albans Arts Sport and Health (SAASH).
The history of the Odeon cinema has been preserved thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. During 2011, St Albans Civic Society recorded and collected memories of the Odeon cinema, culminating in an exhibition at the Museum of St Albans between May and September 2012. Local people volunteered as oral history recorders, interviewers and interviewees; took part in dance, song and drama workshops to recreate some classic movie moments from their favourite films seen at the old Odeon, and gave us filmed and recorded interviews.
Over the course of the Odeon Journey project, we collected memories from people who went to the Odeon as audiences, or worked there as usherettes, managers, projectionists and child monitors. Memories have been gathered in various ways; on film, in person, in letters or as part of an oral history archive. Some of these were then recreated by community participants through drama, dance and songs from classic movie musicals.
There has been a cinema on the site in London Road since 1908; it was host to a range of different entertainments, including film, dances and performances by some of the world’s leading music artists including the Rolling Stones and Cliff Richard.
The exhibition has finished but you can read, watch and listen to other people’s cinema memories here.
You can also borrow our edited oral histories featuring former customers, projectionists and other Odeon staff on CD from the Museum of St Albans, Hatfield Road. Transcripts are also available to look at.
This is the story of the Odeon’s journey from 1908-1995.