top of page

Planning Permission, 1930`s Former Odeon Cinema in Colchester, Essex

Updated: Mar 8

We are thrilled to announce planning permission for the transformation of the iconic 1930`s Former Odeon Cinema in Colchester, Essex into a 120- bed hotel for Marriott International Hotels.


News Articles

Former cinema could become 120-bed hotel

By Lewis Adams

BBC News, Essex

Published: December 19, 2023

A derelict cinema dating back to the 1930s could be reopened as a 120-bed hotel.

Blueprints show Colchester's former Odeon would have an on-site restaurant and 35 parking spaces.

The building, on Crouch Street, has been vacant since Odeon moved its business to Head Street in 2002.

Marriott International would operate the proposed hotel under its Moxy brand, if approved.

Developer Cavaleri Partnership Ltd said it would restore the premises' facade "to its former 1930s glory".

A section of the building's rear would be demolished as part of the works.

It follows years of neglect, with the boarded-up building suffering at the hands of arsonists and vandals.

The building has fallen into disrepair after being targeted by vandals in the past 21 years

John Burton, president of Colchester Civic Society, told the BBC he felt positive about the plan to restore the building's front.

"There are a lot of people who have quite romantic ideas about sitting at the back of the theatre holding hands - they want to keep it that way," he said.

"But that is dead and gone, and it is probably better to keep the elevation and character of the front in Crouch Street.

"Demolishing that would lead to all sorts of complications."

The former cinema has been boarded up following repeated vandalism

Projects have been difficult getting into motion due to a covenant imposed by Odeon as part of the sale, preventing the site being reopened as a cinema.

The site was originally opened as The Regal in 1931 before being sold to Odeon later that decade.

The brand then sold the building and relocated its business to Head Street in 2002.

Planning permission was granted to convert the building into 46 apartments in 2018, but it has expired.

Colchester City Council will have the final say on the latest application.


News Articles

Moxy hotel could be built at old Odeon in Colchester

By Elliot Deady

Published: December 18, 2023

A HOTEL could replace a long-abandoned Colchester cinema if an international chain’s bid is approved.

Architects working with the Marriott hotel group have launched a bid to transform the old Odeon site, in Crouch Street, into a 120-bed Moxy hotel.

If approved, the building would retain its 1930s façade with the new hotel sitting behind it.

Cavaleri Partnership, a firm of architects based in Cambridge, has been working with the building’s owners for the last six months to put together what it calls a “well-designed and deliverable scheme”.

Site - the old Odeon in Crouch Street, Colchester (Image: Newsquest)

A planning statement says Marriott, which has also eyed up the former post office at the top of North Hill, has been involved in the process so far and considers its Moxy brand to be the most appropriate for the site.

“Marriott has been reviewing several sites within Colchester for some time and considers that this site provides them with the level of accommodation and style of accommodation suitable for their brand,” it adds.

The plans include provisions for an on-site shop, restaurant, and hair salon, and the new hotel would provide parking for 35 cars and 22 bikes.

The site has remained empty since 2002, when Odeon moved to its current home in Head Street, despite there being several attempts to regenerate it.

Throwback - the former cinema in the 1990s

Plans to convert the former cinema into a nightclub were thrown out in 2006 after Colchester Council said it would create too much external noise, disturbance, litter, anti-social behaviour, and crime.

Councillors later gave proposals to build 57 flats and two retail units at the site the green light, but owner Matt Ellis pulled the brakes in 2018 after saying the plans were no longer financially viable.

In July this year, firefighters rushed to the old Odeon after a deliberate blaze tore through part of the empty building.

City centre councillor Steph Nissen, who has previously condemned the actions of arsonists, was pleased to see a “well-respected international chain” show interest in the site.

She said: “I think the fact another international chain wants to come to Colchester is another sign of our continuing growth and improvement. They wouldn’t come here if they didn’t see value in the city.”

She added she also hopes the building’s other original features can be protected.


bottom of page