‘Ac­tion’ for old cin­ema site

Re­vamp plans are given green light

Llanelli Star - - Front Page - Oliver Rod­er­ick @Ol­Rodle­gacy oliver.rod­er­[email protected]­di­awales.co.uk 01792 545522

WORK to re­store Llanelli’s for­mer Odeon Cin­ema has been given a boost.

Full plan­ning per­mis­sion has been given to pro­posed ren­o­va­tions on the art deco build­ing, with listed build­ing con­sent also ap­proved.

The build­ing casts a for­lorn shape on the out­side to­day, sur­rounded by scaf­fold­ing.

The town cen­tre struc­ture has been a tar­get for van­dals in the past, with cop­per and other ma­te­ri­als stripped away and dam­age caused to the build­ing as a re­sult.

But the hard work of vol­un­teers has brought the build­ing’s in­te­rior closer to how it would have looked dur­ing its hey­day in the early and mid-20th Cen­tury.

More than 3,750 peo­ple have liked the Save The Old Llanelli Odeon page on Face­book, which the vol­un­teers use to post up­dates of the on­go­ing restora­tion.

The lofty am­bi­tions for the build­ing, which was once the most un­miss­able piece of ar­chi­tec­ture in Llanelli with its brightly il­lu­mi­nated neon Odeon sign, would see it be­come a multi-pur­pose venue, of­fer­ing other ac­tiv­i­ties be­yond just film screen­ings. De­spite the scaf­fold­ing which sur­rounds it, the build­ing is cur­rently used for fit­ness classes. The cin­ema func­tion of the build­ing has been dor­mant since 2011.

A spokesman for Calon, the group be­hind the build­ing’s ren­o­va­tion work, said: “We are very pleased to ob­tain full plan­ning and listed build­ing con­sent for the project. Our pro­pos­als are all about re­tain­ing and re­in­stat­ing orig­i­nal fea­tures, while giv­ing the build­ing a sus­tain­able fu­ture.

“We are now work­ing on the ten­ders so that works can be­gin to­ward the end of the year, with the first fully-ren­o­vated parts ex­pected to open around spring 2019.”

Un­der the plans, im­prove­ments are to be made to the toi­let and kitchen ar­eas of the ground floor and walls to sep­a­rate screen three and screen four.

Fur­ther im­prove­ments will be added to the up­per au­di­to­rium, with ca­pac­i­ties to be set at 200-250 for the lux­ury cin­ema, 400 as a max­i­mum din­ing ca­pac­ity, 750 for seated con­certs and 900-1,000 for live mu­sic with stand­ing.

“We will have three screens on the ground floor with the largest be­ing a multi-event room with a bar in it,” the spokesman con­tin­ued.

“Up­stairs we will have a cafe and wine bar and the largest func­tion/event au­di­to­rium in west Wales. The room will be the grand­est cin­ema au­di­to­rium in Wales in splen­did art deco style.”

The vol­un­teer team is look­ing for a spon­sor to help re­in­state the orig­i­nal two-per­son ticket kiosk in the build­ing’s en­trance foyer.

The spon­sor’s name or com­pany name will be in­scribed on a plaque to be dis­played when the cin­ema is re-opened.

Pic­ture: Jonathan My­ers

Work is un­der way on the old Odeon Cin­ema in Llanelli.

Plans for the old Odeon cin­ema in Llanelli have been given the green light.

Odeon Clas­sic cin­ema, Llanelli in 1947.

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