And that my friends is it. Those are the local cinemas that are still open. What about the ones we've lost?
|Odeon, Burnt Oak|
Guess what the site is now? No prizes if you guessed flats. I was amused to find that the last film shown was Monty Pythons "And now for something completely different". Quite apt I guess that in some ways, 1972 when it shut was around the time when the post war era was disintegrating and the new, faceless era of high street blandness was kicking off. Fittingly there is an Iceland on the site as well. I guess, when it comes down to it, theres more of a market for fish fingers in Burnt Oak than classic films.
5. The Hendon Odeon. Films I saw here? Ben Hur (twice - loved it so went back to see it), Slade in Flame and Star Wars are the ones that immediately come to mind. Closed in 1979. At the time, Toyah Wilcox told me she was going to buy it and turn it into a music venue. I believed her and have always regretted that it didn't come to pass. And what is it now? Yep, flats. I always loved this place. It was my favourite cinema locally at the time. It just felt right. It was cheaper than the Classic, which maybe was why I liked it. More working class feel as well.
|Mill Hill Cinema|
10. Pentavia Retail Park. The Mill Hill Neighbourhood forum have been agitating for a cinema at Pentavia Retail Park, on the A1/A41 where Homebase and TGI Fridays used to be. I quite like the concept of a new cinema and I was initally quite excited when I heard the plans. It then turned out that the council was not keen on the plan, preferring flats. The council view is that such things should be in Town Centres (which is a bit odd, given that they've just passed a huge development plan for Brent Cross which will devastate town centres). If I was to win the Euromillions, I'd buy Athene House and put the new cinema there rather than Pentavia. I think the Phoenix and The Everyman prove that a cinema is good for the local economy. As such the council should positively encourage them. I was told by an "expert" in 1993 that cinemas would be dead in 25 years. The Phoenix and the Everyman show that he was wrong. I always felt that the problem in the 1980's/90's was that they didn't really serve people who wanted to watch quality films and have a night out. The Everyman and Phoenix have figured this out.
Oh and finally a mention to a couple of cinemas not in Barnet but easily accessible. If you've never been to The Tricycle in Kilburn, it is a great little cinema. The second cinema isn't one I've been to, but I came across it when researching this blog, and am fascinated. This is The Safari, which is a cinema that shows Bollywood films in Harrow. Sounds worth a visit?