Chester’s 1936 Art Deco Odeon cinema closed in 2007 and has stood empty ever since. In the next few years it is to be redeveloped as part of the RE:NEW project, transforming it into a Cultural Centre in the heart of the city.
As part of this venture, the Chester Film Co-op was born - a creative place for filmmakers and artists to meet, make films and share ideas.
As members of the Film Co-op, Chat Noir Productions were commissioned to make three films about the Odeon, the first a short film inside the abandoned cinema.
Rather than just document the state of the building, writer-director Daniel J. Fox envisaged an adventure film, bringing Chester’s Odeon back to life.
“Ghosts of the Odeon” centres on a young boy’s journey around the long forgotten cinema. Exploring from the lobby to the auditorium, he encounters echoes of the past, as iconic movies come to life.
While much of the film relies on replicating music and sound cues, it was also necessary to recreate a number of classic movie scenes. Characters including Han Solo and Indiana Jones were joined by creatures from Alien, ET, Jurassic Park and Gremlins.
The film was shot on a tight schedule and succeeds thanks to a stellar central performance by actor Jack Clayton, as the boy on the adventure of a life-time.
The Chester Odeon is a place filled with many happy memories and “Ghosts of the Odeon” recaptures the excitement of growing up loving movies.
“Ghosts of the Odeon”
Written and Directed by Daniel J. Fox
Filmed, Edited and Produced by Mark Ellingham & Daniel J. Fox
Musical Score Recreated by Abigail Fox & Joseph Fox
Special Props and Puppets by Chat Noir Productions Ltd.
Computer Animation by Joseph Fox & Mark Ellingham