Spotlight on Bethany Nicolson and The Odyssey Cinema 25 Aug 2023
Tell us a bit about you…
I’m Bethany, the Front of House Manager here at The Odyssey Cinema. I’ve lived in St Albans all my life, and always knew The Odyssey as being empty! My mum has told me stories of her cinema trips with her siblings and the history of the building, so to be a part of something in the heart of St. Albans is amazing.
What attracted you to open in St Albans?
The Odyssey, St Albans is a historic cinema on London Road with its origins dating back to 1908. In 2010 the building was purchased, after 15 years in a derelict state. A tremendous local campaign helped raise the money to restore the cinema to its 1930s era design. In May 2013, building work began and by November 2014 it was ready to begin the latest chapter in its long history. Showing a wide selection of titles each month, including new releases, foreign language films, cult rep screenings and classics bringing generations together.
What services do you offer?
Since reopening as The Odyssey, we have proudly shown a curated and mixed programme including blockbusters, indie films, foreign language titles, documentaries and lots more. Attendees can also enjoy The Odyssey’s extensive food and drink menu, which includes our very popular cheese plates, falafel dishes, tortillas, olives and more. The Odyssey curates a wine menu so visitors have a choice of the finest red and white wines, and we are also delighted to support local breweries such as Tring Brewery and the 3 Brewers of St Albans with a range of their beers. We even have a local gin, from Tring-based Puddingstone Distillery.
Who is your typical customer?
We invite everyone through our doors! We believe the cinema should be for everyone. Whether it’s an old classic you never got to see on the big screen, a personal favourite you saw here back when were the Odeon or a big blockbuster you definitely don’t want to miss, we try to bring as many as we can.
What is the best bit about your job?
I love working in such a unique cinema. The Odyssey is not like your standard chain cinema. We love to dress up, have themed drinks and cocktails and get in some film related knowledge-and jokes, in our pre-film speeches.
With our table seating, bars and fully loaded menu with food and snacks, it truly is a luxury experience.
I have also brought of my love of musicals to the big screen! Introducing Musical Mondays to our program where on the last Monday of each month, you’ll find a handpicked musical from past decades.
For me, this has been a real joy, connecting with so many patrons who are also musical fans, talking all things stage and screen. I am always so grateful to those who come every month.
What did you do before?
I have a degree is in Music and Musical Theatre and always wanted to be a performer. Between touring in shows, singing at weddings and appearing in TV episodes of Call the Midwife and EastEnders to name a few, I worked at the Alban Arena.
Theatre and Film go hand in hand, and as a regular visitor of The Odyssey, it soon led me here.
What plans do you have for the next 12 months?
We are hoping to continue to bring the best of blockbusters- new and old- to the big screen! For those who have never visited before, we hope to invite you in, to our picture palace of wonders.
We are also looking at ways we can help the environment and work toward being net-zero! By making small changes, we are looking toward the bigger picture, and greening the big screen experience.
How can people find out more about you?
Everything you need to know about The Odyssey for your visit, including our full monthly programme can be found on our website: www.odysseypictures.co.uk/
Here you can also find trailers for each film we are screening- explore titles you’re not familiar with and maybe try something new!
You can also follow us on our social media to see what we get up (our staff are Tiktok stars in the making!):
Facebook: The Odyssey Cinema, St Albans