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Restaurant will star at revamped Holloway Road Odeon

Cinema chain plans bar and refit at brand’s ‘flagship’

15 June, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

The Holloway Road Odeon building opened as a Gaumont cinema in 1937 before it was hit by two rockets during World War II

ODEON plans to revamp its Holloway cinema, one of the chain’s best-known picture houses.

Vacant shops on the Holloway Road side of the listed building would be converted into a new restaurant linked to the foyer of the cinema.

The iconic Odeon sign, currently above the entrance, would be moved onto the tower, if proposals submitted to the Town Hall this week are given the green light.

The news comes weeks after Marks & Spencer announced it would be closing its nearby Nag’s Head store as part of nationwide streamlining plans.

In the planning documents, the cinema group states: “On completion of this major refurbishment, the Holloway Road Odeon will be one of Odeon’s leading ‘traditional’ London cinemas, a flagship for the brand and a key leisure anchor for the Nag’s Head centre.”

The revamp would include refurbishment of ground-floor entrances and removal of screen three to open up the foyer area, which used to be a tearoom.

Removing the screen is expected to reveal the original ceiling. The area will then become a bar – a modern “reincarnation” of its original use.

All remaining seven screens would be refurbished to include new seating and modern screening technology.

Mario Thoti, who owns Mario’s barbers next to the proposed restaurant, said: “I would 100 per cent like to see it redone. It would be much better.

“Having a shop here is good, but it would be nice for them to redo the building because there is a lot of potential. It would open up the area, bring in more people, so it is a positive thing that they want to do it up.”

Odeon Cinemas could not confirm what the restaurant would be, but an artist’s impression app­ears to show a pizzeria.

The building opened as a Gaumont cinema in 1937 before it was hit by two rockets during World War II. The auditorium was destroyed but the foyer and front of house survived. It was left derelict for 14 years before becom­ing an Odeon in 1962.

Former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, who lives in Dartmouth Park, has been a regular, while acting couple Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory have been seen catching films there.

Love Actually actress Emma Thompson said one of her “most powerful” childhood memories was watching Disney film Fantasia at the Holloway Odeon.

The Arsenal team, which nicked the league title against Liverpool in 1989, were reunited at the Holloway Odeon last year for a world premiere of football film 89.

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