After 99 years of business, the Odeon Cinema on Magdalen Street will be closing its doors for good. At its peak, the cinema was one of Oxford’s most popular entertainment venues, but the rise of streaming platforms, the effects of the pandemic, and the opening of other cinemas have contributed to its decline over the past several years.
By modern standards, the cinema boasts a small size and limited selection. Just four minutes away, the newer and larger Odeon Cinema on George Street appears more popular. One student remarked, “I’ve only been to the Magdalen Street cinema once as George Street is bigger and tends to have more [show]times”.
Odeon has announced that June 5 will be the cinema’s last day of buisness. Housed in a Grade II listed building, the cinema first opened as a silent movie theatre in 1924, and remained a mainstay of Oxford entertainment for nearly a century. Before being acquired by Odeon, the cinema cycled through various names and owners, going by the Oxford, the Super, the Cannon, the MGM, and the ABC.
Oxford cinephiles disappointed by the loss of the Magdalen Street Odeon will be relieved to note that both the Odeon on George Street and the Curzon in Westgate remain open for business. Odeon Cinema declined to comment on this closure.