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The Odyssey
The Odyssey Cinema opened on the London Road in 2015 and is St Albans' only dedicated cinema. 

It was restored to its original glory by a combination of voluntary donation and investment.
 

What's on at the Odyssey


  • Tue 13 Nov - Black ’47 (15)

    12:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 40m One of the most tragic and cinematically neglected episodes in Irish history is brought to life in Lance Daly’s apocalyptic Black ’47. Nineteenth-century Ireland is in the grip of the Great Famine. Feeney (James Frecheville), a stoic Irish Ranger who has been fighting abroad, abandons his post to return home and re-unite with his family. He’s seen more than his share of horrors but nothing prepares him for the famine’s hopeless destruction of his homeland. With little else to live for, he sets on a destructive path of revenge. Hannah (Hugo Weaving), an ageing British soldier and famed tracker of deserters, is sent to stop Feeney before he can further stoke the fires of revolution. Daly is unflinching in his depiction of violence and devastation. Perhaps more daringly, Daly has made the first widely released feature to focus on the Famine an unmistakable genre piece. It’s a western. It’s a revenge thriller. It takes the shootouts and taciturn antiheroes of Josey Wales and plants them in rainy Galway. The result is a brutal but compelling tale of revenge played impressively by the Australian leads, with a brilliant supporting cast of Irish stars, including Moe Dunford, Barry Keoghan and Stephen Rea. Find out more...

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  • 1:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 40m A highly intelligent drama that offers a peek behind the closed doors of a literary great and the woman behind him, unfurling a brilliantly complicated and nuanced relationship. Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce), a great American Novelist, is to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. His wife, Joan (Glenn Close), travels to Stockholm to support him, taking the intellect, charm and diplomacy required to fulfil the role of a Great Man’s Wife with her. Interweaving flashbacks take us to the late 1950s where the pair first met, bringing a sense of youthful passion and ambition, which contrasts the compromises, secrets and betrayals of a near-forty-year marriage. By looking back to their university years, we learn that she too was a promising writer, despite being stifled by her successful husband’s massive shadow in later years. The film also touches on themes of sexism within the literary sphere— all the Nobel laureates are men— overall crafting together a highly nuanced spectacle. Glenn Close deserves all the praise she gets for this stunningly executed performance. She makes it clear that she is not just a wife, but a great intellect in her own right. Don’t miss. Find out more...

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  • Wed 14 Nov - Bad Times At The El Royale (15)

    7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 2hr 21m Set in 1969 at a run-down hotel that sits on the line between California and Nevada, this star studded mystery is a cocktail that’s equal parts 1930s pulp fiction, 1940s Film Noir, and 1960s Technicolor. Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night. Based on a real, infamous resort with scandalous connections to Marilyn Monroe, J.F.K., and Frank Sinatra. This stylish and slick thriller comes from the mind of Drew Goddard, whose only other release as a director was 2011’s genre bending, The Cabin in the Woods. However, Goddard is not a newcomer by any means. He has honed his skills as a writer over the last 20 years, working on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lost, and also creating Netflix’s Daredevil, Cloverfield and The Martian. Starring solid performances from Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, Cynthia Erivo, Lewis Pullman, Cailee Spaeny and Chris Hemsworth, expect twists and turns through this cinematic rush that has to be seen on the big screen. Find out more...

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  • 2:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 2hr 15m The unlikely and incredible true tale of an African-American police officer who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan; this is one of visionary filmmaker Spike Lee’s hardest-hitting works. Ron Stallworth (John David Washington, son of Denzel) is a detective in Colorado Springs, and is ‘the first black cop in the city.’ After a small undercover operation success, he decides to take on the KKK. Putting on his best white American voice, he (quite easily) manages to get on the phone with the Klan’s Grand Wizard, David Duke (Topher Grace). As well as the story and source material, another hugely strong point for the film is the chemistry between Washington and Adam Driver. Driver plays Flip Zimmerman, the fellow policeman who is talked into pretending to be Stallworth when the Klan request to meet in person. There’s plenty of humorous and entertaining moments here, but the social commentary is still biting; this is a Spike Lee film, after all. Lee marries his anger and intensity with a restraint and poetry only he can master. It’s a film that’s needed at this moment in time. In a word: unmissable. Find out more...

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  • Fri 16 Nov - First Man (12A)

    8:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 2hr 21m After the melodious fantasy of La La Land, director Damien Chazelle and actor Ryan Gosling turn to a less romantic but equally engaging story – the struggle to put the first human on the Moon. Knowing the audience’s familiarity with the history book accounts of Neil Armstrong’s fabled mission, Chazelle forgoes grand, sweeping flourishes in order to focus in on the man himself, only ever showing the huge enterprise from his perspective. Playing Armstrong, Gosling retains a calm, intelligent face even as both his family and his nation seem to be on the brink of disaster – his infant daughter dies from a brain tumour in the years prior to the mission, and his very selection as Commander comes in the wake of the deaths of his colleagues in another, failed, flight. Rather than overtly signal Armstrong’s emotions, Chazelle leaves the audience to figure them out by putting them in his position (the flight itself, for example, is noisy and claustrophobic, yet still thrilling), making his bravery and achievement all the more impressive. By demystifying the historic event, Chazelle and Gosling make it feel more impressive and immediate than ever. Find out more...

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  • 12:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 36m Deep in the Himalayan Mountains there is a folklore whispered in hushed tones of a mythical ape-like being that walks upright and leaves footprints in the snow. That’s right, the illusive and legendary smallfoot! In a flip-reversal, humans are the fabled beings whose existence is queried by a society of yetis living in an isolated community above the cloud line. Our hero ‘Migo’ (Channing Tatum) has an encounter with a paraglider (James Corden) who is almost immediately whisked away again on the wind. When Migo tries to tell the villagers of his experience he is shunned as a liar, so he sets out to find the human and prove his story. A charming, exciting and visually thrilling tale enfolds, with jokes a-plenty and a stellar vocal cast including Dany De Vito and Odyssey favourite Zendaya (she once walked past the cinema and stopped to admire the building, the staff got really excited!). Following in the footsteps of Happy Feet, Smallfoot in an animated film with a message behind the fun, that of tolerance and not fearing the unknown. It is both smart and thoroughly entertaining, which is no small feat! Find out more...

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  • Mon 19 Nov - MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A (18)

    7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 36m Drawn from a cache of personal video recordings from the past 22 years, long-time friend and director Steve Loveridge brings us Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. This startlingly personal profile of the critically acclaimed artist, chronicles her remarkable journey from refugee immigrant to pop star. She began as Matangi Arulpragasm. Daughter of the founder of Sri Lanka’s Tamil resistance, she hid from the government in the face of a vicious and bloody civil war. When her family fled to the UK, she became Maya. Finally, the world met her as M.I.A. when she emerged on the global stage. Having created a mashup, cut-and-paste identity that pulled from every corner of her journey along the way; a sonic sketchbook that blended Tamil politics, art school punk, hip-hop beats and an ultra-confident voice of a multicultural youth. One of the best features of Loveridge’s doc, is the wealth of frank, never-seen-before footage shot by M.I.A. herself. He memorably poses her the question, “Why are you so problematic?” and guides the audience through some possible answers that might explain his friend’s inconsistencies as she grapples with newfound pressures and responsibilities her fame brings. A brilliant and bracing documentary, about a very important musical artist and activist. Find out more...

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  • 7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 35m Part of the ‘A Cinematic Odyssey: Postcards from Europe’ strand. Restored from the original nitrate negative, this new print of Jean Cocteau’s haunting film promises to enchant. Starring Jean Marais in the titular role, and set in 1950s Paris, the film retells the Greek myth of Orpheus, the poet who descends into hell to rescue his dead wife, Eurydice (Maria Déa), her recovery dependent on him not looking at her. In this modern retelling Death becomes a seductive femme fatale, played by Maria Casares, with the underworld represented as a decaying factory-like space ruled over by officious bureaucrats. The film is justly renowned for its special effects, which produce a poetic, dreamlike experience for the viewer. While the film is concerned with weighty themes – love, death, loss and the immortality of art – it is also an important film in the history of queer cinema. The lingering shots of the film’s male actors and the transgression inherent in the descent into the underworld, as well as the iconography of Death’s leather-clad biker-henchmen signal the film’s concerns. The film will be introduced by Dr Paul Sutton, who will stay for the end of the film for a post-screening discussion in the front-tier of the downstairs seating area. The film will be introduced by Dr Paul Sutton, who will stay for the end of the film for a post-screening discussion in the front-tier of the downstairs seating area. Find out more...

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  • Wed 21 Nov - A Star Is Born (15)

    1:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 2hr 16m The multi-talented Bradley Cooper (undertaking both the role of director and lead actor) and Lady Gaga take on the fourth remake of a classic story, producing a film that is positively buzzing with electricity. Jackson Maine (Cooper), a seasoned, rough-around-the-edges musician drunkenly stumbles into a drag bar in search of more booze and comes across something a lot more special— Ally (Gaga). He is enchanted by her voice and stage presence, and the pair quickly fall in love. He becomes both her lover and her mentor, coaxing her into the spotlight just as she’s about to give up on her dream. But, it’s not all glitz and glamour—as her career takes off he breaks down, fighting an ongoing battle with alcoholism and escalating tinnitus. Despite being based on familiar premises, the pair inject a sense of freshness into A Star is Born that makes it seem never-before-done. Gaga has a tough act to follow, filling the shoes of Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand, but she glitters as a wonderfully down-to-earth character. The whole thing is incredibly heartfelt, and definitely sure to leave you star-struck. Find out more...

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  • 2:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 2hr 3m In the wake of a large number of recent films about both World Wars, director David Blair stands out by bringing an exciting and all-too-under told story to light -that of the Polish pilots in the Battle of Britain. Having very recently seen their country crushed by Germany, many Polish pilots came to the UK with a burning desire for revenge, and a consequent lack of caution. This made them enormously successful in battle against the Luftwaffe, so much so that one of their squadrons -the 303- was one of the most successful in the entire effort, in terms of both destruction of the enemy and loss (or lack thereof) of their own men. In the film, Iwan Rheon plays one of the squadron’s most notable members, Jan Zumbach, who battles the patronisingly diminished expectations of the British officers and haunted memories of his now-fallen country and family, as well as finding love in a similarly underrated war office girl (Stefanie Martin). While some may find the CG dogfights to be all too familiar by now, the film compensates with a gripping narrative that – since the pilots received little recognition after the war – needs to be remembered more than ever. Find out more...

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  • Thu 22 Nov - Halloween (2018) (18)

    7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 46m The immortal boogeyman Michael Myers returns in this highly anticipated sequel to the 1978 classic. In the decades that followed that fateful Halloween night 40 years ago, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has spent the time arming and preparing herself for the inevitable return of her arch nemesis, all under the cynical scrutiny of her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and Granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). But when Myers escapes during a mental health facility transfer, the years of scoffing at Laurie’s paranoia turn into real life terror as Michael Myers prowls the streets of Haddonfield once again. Director David Gordon Green demonstrates a great reverence for the original film whilst turning a lot of the familiar tropes on their head to deliver an experience that seems fresh and exciting but also nostalgic. The classic theme returns with a score by John Carpenter (in collaboration with his son Cody). More fan service is present when Nick Castle (The original "Shape") dons that familiar white mask again for another round of seasonal stalking. Halloween is the perfect companion piece to Carpenter’s 1978 masterpiece and to paraphrase Sheriff Brackett "Everyone’s entitled to one MORE good scare". Find out more...

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  • 5:45 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 2hr 14m A foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and arguably the greatest and most captivating frontman in the history of music – Freddie Mercury. Defying stereotypes and shattering convention, this biopic traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. Named after Queen’s own progressive rock odyssey. It’s a film that’s had its fair share of problems — Sacha Baron Cohen was originally to be Mercury, but left the project due to creative differences. Director Bryan Singer abruptly left the film when he stopped turning up for shoots, amid frequent clashes with the cast. Another one bites the dust, but the good news is this film is a champion. That’s largely thanks to the man who eventually won the role of Queen’s mercurial singer, Rami Malek, best known for starring in streaming series Mr Robot — expect an Oscar nod for this performance. The film charts the band’s climb to success, culminating with the career-defining performance at Live Aid ‘85. Bolstering the cast are Lucy Boynton as Mary Austin, Mike Myers as EMI executive Ray Foster, and Aidan Gillen as one of the ever-changing Queen managers. Find out more...

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  • Fri 23 Nov - Mandy + intro (18)

    9:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 2hr 1m "It’s all but a beautiful dream… Won’t you join us in that dream?" Nicolas Cage (in a career best performance) plays Red, a woodsman who lives with his girlfriend Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) in a remote cabin where they debate astronomy, read fantasy novels and channel hop through an endless cycle of soap operas and B-movies. Their idyllic lifestyle is shattered when a hippie cult and its seductive leader (Linus Roache) roll into town and set their sights on Mandy. The film presents a haunting dreamscape, mixing elegant use of vivid colour with freeze frames, psychedelic camera effects and long lingering close-ups, bewitching the viewer from the first opening scenes until the breath-taking conclusion. At the heart of the film is the dizzying score by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannson (tragically the composer’s final work) which flawlessly merges comforting synths with sudden blistering attacks of electric guitar. When combined with the stunning visuals the result is a sensory experience reminiscent of the classic gialli of Sergio Martino and Dario Argento as well as the more contemporary offerings of Lars Von Trier and Nicholas Winding Refn. This screening will have a short introduction from Dr Darren Elliott-Smith Find out more...

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  • 2:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 29m After a seven-year hiatus, David Kerr drags Johnny English out of retirement to deliver us this third outing from the nation’s second-favourite spy. MI7 has suffered a devastating cyber-attack. Faced with no alternative, the Prime Minister (Emma Thompson) calls on English (Rowan Atkinson), now a geography teacher, to rescue Blighty from the digital menace. The ex-spy quickly drops his cover and returns to the fold, hauling Bough (Ben Miller), his long-suffering side-kick, along with him. With a lead in sight, the debonair duo fumble their way across Europe. But when Ophelia (Olga Kurylenko), a Russian spy, and Jason Volta (Jake Lacy), a shady tech billionaire, enter the fray, the plot thickens and what began as a simple mystery descends into a life and death struggle against high-tech weaponry, sinister non-state actors and the French. Kerr captures everything great about old-school British humour, from dry wit to bumbling awkwardness, but also updates English in a hilarious send up of the internet age. Atkinson meanwhile secures his status as a national treasure, and Miller, another veteran comic, plays off his partner’s antics to brilliant effect. The result is a side-splitting yet good-natured comedy and perhaps the silliest tale of espionage since Moonraker. Find out more...

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  • Mon 26 Nov - Dogman + intro (S) (15)

    7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 43m Part of the ‘A Cinematic Odyssey: Postcards from Europe’ strand. Following on from Tale of Tales (2016), Garrone’s latest film returns to the criminal underworld, familiar to viewers of his 2008 hit film Gomorrah. Marcello, played by the award-winning Marcello Fonte, runs a dog-grooming business in a small, down-at-heel seaside town. Separated from his wife and doting on his daughter, the nerdy Marcello is strangely popular, the result we discover of a side-line that earns him far more than the care of the often terrifyingly large dogs that he encounters in his day job. Just as the giant flea in Tale of Tales had an allegorical function, so the characters of the dogs in this film reflect the personalities of its human protagonists. Dogman is visually powerful, especially as it captures Marcello’s happy day-to-day life early on before charting his descent into somewhere far darker as the film progresses. As Peter Bradshaw sums it up, ‘a movie with incomparable bite and strength’ (The Guardian). The film will be introduced by Dr Paul Sutton, who will stay for the end of the film for a post-screening discussion in the front-tier of the downstairs seating area. Find out more...

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  • 12:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 35m Restored from the original nitrate negative, this new print of Jean Cocteau’s haunting film promises to enchant. Starring Jean Marais in the titular role, and set in 1950s Paris, the film retells the Greek myth of Orpheus, the poet who descends into hell to rescue his dead wife, Eurydice (Maria Déa), her recovery dependent on him not looking at her. In this modern retelling Death becomes a seductive femme fatale, played by Maria Casares, with the underworld represented as a decaying factory-like space ruled over by officious bureaucrats. The film is justly renowned for its special effects, which produce a poetic, dreamlike experience for the viewer. While the film is concerned with weighty themes – love, death, loss and the immortality of art – it is also an important film in the history of queer cinema. The lingering shots of the film’s male actors and the transgression inherent in the descent into the underworld, as well as the iconography of Death’s leather-clad biker-henchmen signal the film’s concerns. Find out more...

    Read more...
  • Wed 28 Nov - Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (PG)

    1:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25m Film run time: 1hr 54m(Non-singalong version)Good news everyone! Pierce Brosnan is back and he’s singing again! Part of the enduring charm of the original 2008 film was that it felt scrappy and unpolished. A film that was inclusive of everyone, you didn’t need to have a perfect singing voice to be part of the fun. And, yes, maybe that even included the former Mr Bond murdering every note he went near with the wild abandon of someone with a licence to kill. This film picks up some years after the original with Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) finding out she is pregnant. This leads her to wonder about her heritage and how her mother met the three dashing men she now calls her fathers. Queue flashbacks to Donna’s early life with Lily James playing the younger version of Meryl Streep’s character as she makes the decision to move to the island of Kalokairi in the process providing us with loads of excuses to further delve into ABBA’s back catalogue. When all is said and done there’ll be no regret if you take a chance on this dancing queen! Find out more...

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  • 7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 53m Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, My Own Private Idaho) deploys an expert cast to craft a piece feel-good genius based on the memoir of cartoonist John Callahan. When John’s (Joaquin Phoenix) hedonistic lifestyle is inconvenienced by a drunken car accident that renders him wheelchair-bound, the last thing he wants to do is give up alcohol. At first he marinates in self-pity, finding it difficult to navigate his new life as a quadriplegic— taking his new chair to the streets is especially difficult and lands him in hospital, where he meets the young volunteer therapist Annu (Rooney Mara). Encouraged by his charismatic sponsor (Jonah Hill), Callahan reluctantly enters an alcoholism treatment program. He discovers he has a knack for drawing, and soon creating off-colour cartoons becomes an outlet for his rage and cutting wit. Phoenix gets brilliantly lost in the character as always, really making you feel the artist’s scrappy joy in sticking it to his critics. The title of the film really sets the tone; it is frankly told, with an injection of down-to-earth comedy that softens the edges of a story full of touching humanity. Find out more...

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Overview

  • Business Sector:
  • Entertainment > Cinemas

Address and Contact info

  • Address: 166 London Road
  • Town: St Albans
  • County: Hertfordshire
  • Postcode: AL1 1PG

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