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Cinema sizes and differences 70s-80s vs today comparing Odeon and ABC to VUE and Cineworld

PostedCOLON Sun 03 Jan, 2016 5:28 pm
by spainboy
With the exception of IMAX, what difference do you remember the cinemas to be in the 70's and 80s to the cinema experience of today comparing the Odeon and ABC to the likes of VUE and Cineworld.
Obviously there were less screens back then and although I was only a child back in the day I seem to remember the rooms being bigger. I know there are a couple of pics knocking around of the ABC and the seating area looks massive compared to today (due to now fitting more screens in the building), or maybe because things look bigger when you are young??!!

Another thing I remember is the walls icecream advert coming on just before the movie started and then running down to the front where the screen was to cue up for a lolly. To me this was a great cinema experience that is now lost.
Also were the screens bigger than todays standard 2D screens? I can always remember the red curtains being pulled back to show a massive screen compared to the size today, again that could be the fact I was small and things looked bigger.

What are your experiences of cinema 70-80s vs today? What is better about today and what was better back in the day?
One good thing about today is that you do get bags of leg room and much more comfier seats. Im 6ft 2 and the odeon legroom space was terrible, my knees were resting on the seat infront in most cases accidentally nudging the person in front. Today I can almost stretch out fully.

Re: Cinema sizes and differences 70s-80s vs today comparing Odeon and ABC to VUE and Cineworld

PostedCOLON Mon 04 Jan, 2016 12:46 am
by blackprince
The large city centre cinemas such as the Odeon and Majestic had seating for over 2,500 in stalls and circle levels.
Local picture houses in the in the suburbs were smaller. The art deco Shaftsbury had seating for about 1600. Even the local "picture houses" resembled real theatres and had an upper tier of seats in a balcony or circle.

Going to a multiplex is a different experience, more functional and less character than the old cinemas had, a bit like the difference between a restaurant and a food outlet.

Re: Cinema sizes and differences 70s-80s vs today comparing Odeon and ABC to VUE and Cineworld

PostedCOLON Mon 04 Jan, 2016 3:00 am
by Croggy1
The 'local' ads for the nearby curry house or similar.

Re: Cinema sizes and differences 70s-80s vs today comparing Odeon and ABC to VUE and Cineworld

PostedCOLON Mon 04 Jan, 2016 9:54 am
by liits
Croggy1 wroteColonThe 'local' ads for the nearby curry house or similar.

Ads for "Preston's of Bolton" jewelers to the cinema going world....

Re: Cinema sizes and differences 70s-80s vs today comparing Odeon and ABC to VUE and Cineworld

PostedCOLON Mon 04 Jan, 2016 9:58 am
by LS1
If you count the Showcase, Vue in the LIght, Vue at Kirkstall, Odeon Leeds/ Bradford and the Everyman, there are probably in terms of total number of screens, not that many less cinemas in Leeds than there used to be.
I agree that times have changed and cinema going is a lot more functional these days, but then again it's not the novelty it once was as nearly everyone has a TV now and want something different out of the cinema experience.
I seem to remember the ABC/ Canon had a very small screen in there after it was converted to a multi-screen, perhaps 50 or so seats.
I don't think local cinemas would work these days with a single screen, there just isn't the same demand and the out of town multiplexes are a lot more accessible with more car ownership also.

Re: Cinema sizes and differences 70s-80s vs today comparing Odeon and ABC to VUE and Cineworld

PostedCOLON Mon 04 Jan, 2016 10:45 am
by tyke bhoy
LS1 wroteColonI don't think local cinemas would work these days with a single screen, there just isn't the same demand and the out of town multiplexes are a lot more accessible with more car ownership also.
Hyde Park and Cottage Road?

Re: Cinema sizes and differences 70s-80s vs today comparing Odeon and ABC to VUE and Cineworld

PostedCOLON Mon 04 Jan, 2016 2:03 pm
by Leodian
Talking of size ( ;) ) the long demolished and vacant plot where the ABC was on Vicar Lane seems much smaller than I would have expected it to be. It was not the biggest of Leeds centre cinemas but the small length/area that it covered does surprise me.

PS. In a post on Jan 04, 2016 8:58 am LS1 states "I seem to remember the ABC/ Canon had a very small screen in there after it was converted to a multi-screen, perhaps 50 or so seats". That brought back recollections of going to one of those small rooms (possibly at the ABC but I'm not sure) and it was very odd with so few seats. It was like I was watching a film in someone's house with just a few others!

Re: Cinema sizes and differences 70s-80s vs today comparing Odeon and ABC to VUE and Cineworld

PostedCOLON Mon 04 Jan, 2016 2:35 pm
by LS1
tyke bhoy wroteColon
LS1 wroteColonI don't think local cinemas would work these days with a single screen, there just isn't the same demand and the out of town multiplexes are a lot more accessible with more car ownership also.
Hyde Park and Cottage Road?

I should have explained this point... Cottage Road and Hyde Park work well as they are specialist and the last remaining ones of their kind. Hyde Park more so as it is more "specialist arts". People seem to like Cottage Road as it is nostalgic.

Re: Cinema sizes and differences 70s-80s vs today comparing Odeon and ABC to VUE and Cineworld

PostedCOLON Mon 04 Jan, 2016 5:23 pm
by blackprince
liits wroteColon
Croggy1 wroteColonThe 'local' ads for the nearby curry house or similar.

Ads for "Preston's of Bolton" jewelers to the cinema going world....


Lets not forget the cinema ads for Kia-Ora drink. Never remember seeing or drinking it outside of a cinema. Many years later I found out it means "good health" in Maori.

Re: Cinema sizes and differences 70s-80s vs today comparing Odeon and ABC to VUE and Cineworld

PostedCOLON Mon 04 Jan, 2016 5:34 pm
by j.c.d.
Leodian wroteColonTalking of size ( ;) ) the long demolished and vacant plot where the ABC was on Vicar Lane seems much smaller than I would have expected it to be. It was not the biggest of Leeds centre cinemas but the small length/area that it covered does surprise me.

PS. In a post on Jan 04, 2016 8:58 am LS1 states "I seem to remember the ABC/ Canon had a very small screen in there after it was converted to a multi-screen, perhaps 50 or so seats". That brought back recollections of going to one of those small rooms (possibly at the ABC but I'm not sure) and it was very odd with so few seats. It was like I was watching a film in someone's house with just a few others!



When I worked in town Wednesday afternoon (half day closing) cinemas like this, the "Ritz" were full of shop girls and a great place to spend time.
As for the square area it occupied I would not hazard a guess but I was under the assumption that it held 1500 to just under 2000.