Cinema bids for more screen hours

COLCHESTER Odeon is trying to extend its opening hours to allow more screenings of epic length movies such as Lord of the Rings.If successful, an application lodged with the borough council's planning department would lead to the cinema's doors opening earlier on Sunday and mean late night screenings on occasions like Hallowe'en.

COLCHESTER Odeon is trying to extend its opening hours to allow more screenings of epic length movies such as Lord of the Rings.

If successful, an application lodged with the borough council's planning department would lead to the cinema's doors opening earlier on Sunday and mean late night screenings on occasions like Hallowe'en.

The manager of the Odeon in Head Street, Geoff Sale, said customers currently did not leave the multiplex after midnight, despite already having licensing laws which permit them to open until 3am.

Mr Sale, said: "It will be useful for us when we have a film like Lord of the Rings, which means at present we are limited in the number of shows we can screen.


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"It has been difficult for the customers because we have had to turn people away because when we don't have enough screenings."

There have been concerns from councillors and resident groups about the effects of late night openings of pubs and clubs in the town.

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Borough councillor for the Castle Ward, where the Odeon is located, Ken Jones, said a vocal minority usually caused problems in the town at night.

He said: "The problem comes from the minority who seem to think they own the streets and can abuse people as part of their night out".

He said he was in favour of "24-hour society" but felt establishments should be more responsible for customers after they had departed.

The application goes before Colchester borough council's planning committee shortly.

n Ken Jones, is standing as a Liberal Democrat candidate in the Colchester Borough Council election for the Castle Ward in Colchester.

Malcolm Cannon (Labour) Walter Schwarz (Green Party) and Pauline Lucas (Conservative) are also standing.

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