Excitement builds for the long awaited opening of Chester’s new theatre/libray/cinema. With the first shows announced for May (see : https://thechesterblog.com/2016/10/20/storyhouse-announce-opening-shows/) a team from principal sponsors MBNA were given a behind the scenes tour of the £37 million development which is said to be the largest ever public building in Chester.

The old Odeon transformed

The 7,500-square metre building is the UK’s largest cultural development outside London is expected to attract 600,000 visitors a year and will hopefully provide a catalyst for the long imagined Northgate development.

MBNA Chief Executive Ian O’Doherty said ” We last visited the site in February. The progress since then has been exceptional “

Construction began 2 years ago and the new images reveal the restoration of the art deco Odeon and the extension of brick and glass which houses the new theatre. Heritage plasterwork to the Odeon’s cinema walls has been completed and the brickwork repointed using carefully selected reclaimed bricks. Other original 1930’s features have also been sensitively restored.

The view from the stage. 800 seats which reverts to 500 in the summer and Christmas


Over the coming weeks the final finishes to the building will be completed along with the building’s signage and the Odeon’s canopy.

Artistic director Alex Clifton (See https://thechesterblog.com/2016/05/09/alex-clifton-and-storyhouse/) commented that it was a “great joy to see people’s faces light up when they walk around Storyhouse. The architect’s visuals have always shown the scale of the ambition but nothing quite captures how Storyhouse can make you feel until you’re actually inside ”


On the roof of the new 100 seat cinema. The cinema will show “classic, independent and block buster films”



The rooftop bar space



Storyhouse opens in May  with tickets on sale at http://www.storyhouse.com


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