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The Odyssey
The Odyssey Cinema opened on the London Road in 2015 and is St Albans' only dedicated cinema. 

It was restored to its original glory by a combination of voluntary donation and investment.
 

What's on at the Odyssey


  • Sat 25 May - Missing Link (PG)

    1:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 35mLaika Studios add to their growing list of stop-motion masterpieces with this charming and lusciously animated adventure. Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman), a dashing but luckless adventurer, heads to the Pacific Northwest to find Bigfoot and secure his place as the foremost expert on legendary creatures. Much to his surprise, the fabled missing link turns out to be a rather intelligent – if somewhat literal-minded – gentleman called Susan (Zach Galifianakis). After explaining that he wants to meet his cousin the Yeti, Sir Lionel agrees to help his fellow outcast and, having teamed up with ex-partner Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana), sets off for Nepal. But when Sir Lionel’s rival, the dastardly Lord Piggot-Dunceby (Stephen Fry), catches wind of their quest, he enlists the services of ruffian-turned-poacher Stenk (Timothy Olyphant) to track them down and scupper their plans. Hailed as America’s answer to Aardman, Laika have won a reputation for pushing the boundaries of their medium, with painstakingly animated hits like Coraline and Kubo and The Two Strings. Their latest entry is just as visually dazzling as its predecessors, while its cast of hilarious and loveable characters is sure to win over the whole family. Find out more...

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  • 5:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 41mLiving in a contented retirement, Joan Stanley’s tranquil existence is shattered when she is shockingly arrested by MI5. At first Joan (Judi Dench) protests her innocence. The narrative then cuts back to 1938 where a young Joan portrayed by Sophie Cookson (Kingsman: The Secret Service) is a Cambridge physics student falling for young communist Leo Galich (Tom Hughes). Through him she begins to see the world in a new light. We learn of her disillusionment with British society in the face of condescension from her peers. Working at a top-secret nuclear research facility during World War Two, Joan comes to the realisation that the world is on the brink of mutually assured destruction. Confronted with the question – what price would you pay for peace? – Joan must choose between betraying her country and loved ones or saving them. Once described as ‘the most important female agent ever recruited by the USSR’, Director Trevor Nunn superbly interweaves elements of British KGB agent Melina Norwood’s biography and fiction to exemplify the dangers of underestimating women, in this reimagining of Cold War espionage. Find out more...

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  • Sat 25 May - Avengers: Endgame (12A)

    9:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 3hr In Avengers: Infinity War – one of the highest-grossing films of all time – we witnessed half of all life in the universe wiped out with one snap of Thanos’s finger. Now, the colossally-hyped sequel, Endgame, will close this chapter of the MCU, as we finally learn the fate of the Avengers. Trailers have revealed precious little, to avoid dreaded spoilers, but we do know that Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is marooned in space with Nebula (Karen Gillan), and he’s rapidly running out of supplies. With the fallen heroes including Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Scarlet Witch we find New York a desolate and empty place. Nevertheless, the remaining Avengers come together and devise a desperate plan. Can Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the rest of the team defeat Thanos (Josh Brolin) with all his godlike power? Can they bring back the lives that were lost? Anthony and Joe Russo direct, having previously helmed the huge undertaking of Infinity War. In their safe hands, Endgame promises to be even more breathtaking, heartbreaking, and astounding. Come and see… ‘Whatever it takes.’ Find out more...

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  • 6:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Main Feature run time: 1hr 25m+ Short film & Q&ACanadian filmmakers Nova Ami and Velcrow Ripper approach climate change from a fresh angle in this pensive and poetic documentary. Eschewing the well-worn road of simply quoting statistics and interviewing talking-heads, Ami and Ripper instead deploy a sequence of arresting visual metaphors to explore the changing nature of our planet. They travel the world to capture breath-taking shots of some of the Earth’s most vulnerable habitats, interweaving these scenes with work from a host of radical ecological artists. The various human-like installations and painted figures raise questions of our place in the world, while the astonishing shots of Monarch butterflies—a central metaphor in the film—highlight the core message: that our planet is beautiful and fragile, but also capable of transformation. The pair decided to make the film following Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in 2013 and killed more than 6,000 people. Their sense of urgency is clear, as they open with a terrifying array of disasters, from hurricanes and forest fires to large-scale industry stripping the landscape. But slowly, these images transform into something more hopeful. ‘We’re caterpillars right now,’ explains the voiceover. ‘I think we could morph into beautiful winged creatures.’ ****We are thrilled to continue our annual partnership with the SUStAINABILITY festival 2019, now in its fourth year. Tickets will be at matinée prices for this special event. Find out more here: https://sustainablestalbans.org**** Find out more...

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  • Mon 27 May - Wild Rose (15)

    7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 40mJessie Buckley (Beast, Taboo) shines as Rose-Lynn, an ex-con obsessed with country music who dreams of making it big in Nashville. Fresh out of prison and reunited with her son and daughter, the only thing on the flame-haired Glaswegian heroine’s mind is pursuing her dream of finding fame by becoming a country music singer. Her mother Marion (expertly portrayed by Julie Walters), however, wants her to take some responsibility and keep her feet firmly planted on the ground for the sake of her two children. Rose undertakes a cleaning job for the affluent Susannah (Sophie Okonedo – Hotel Rwanda), and in her finds an unlikely source of support as she backs her dream, unaware of her electronic tag and two young children. Buckley dazzles as Rose-Lynn, sweeping us along with her star-struck fever and captivating screen presence, bursting with raw talent, charisma and cheek. This identity tale captures the difficulty of her trying to balance what is best for her with what is best for her children as she figures out who she really is. Expect tears, laughs and a great set of pipes. Find out more...

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  • 12:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 52mOn the surface they may seem like a rather odd match: auteur director Tim Burton, responsible for such gothic fayre as Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice, and the famously family-friendly House-of-Mouse. However, they have more in common than you might think. You may already know that Burton and Disney have been collaborating for decades. Back in the 80s, when Burton was cutting his teeth in the movie business, Disney hired him to work as an animator for The Fox and the Hound. Since then they have worked together on a variety of projects. Burton’s signature trope of celebrating the misfits and outcasts – those who succeed despite the suspicion and ridicule of the mainstream – makes him the perfect champion for this large-lobed pachyderm. The storyline has been expanded for this redux with much more of the storyline given to injured war veteran and former equestrian performer, Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell), and Danny De Vito’s seedy circus owner, Max Medici. Michael Keaton, Eva Green, Roshan Seth and Alan Arkin complete the star-studded line-up making for a fresh experience that will delight newcomers and devoted fans of the original alike. Find out more...

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  • Tue 28 May - Eighth Grade (15)

    7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 34mEighth Grade is the singular debut feature from YouTuber-turned-comedian-turned-filmmaker Bo Burnham, and proves that he is as confident and gifted behind the camera as he is in front of it. Thirteen-year-old Kayla (played by an extraordinary Elsie Fisher) is the lightning rod at the centre of the film, a vlogger that distributes life advice online whilst attempting to tackle her own social anxiety and loneliness. The film takes place over Kayla’s tumultuous final week in eighth grade, as she navigates her social media reliance, awkward first crush, and the incessant questions of her embarrassing single father, all before graduating to high school. Demonstrating Burnham’s assured and impressive filmmaking chops, it elicits pitch-perfect performances from first time actors, and crafts a unique coming-of-age tale within territory that is so often trod. Hollywood has also taken notice of the young director’s talent, with the film garnering coveted awards including the Director’s Guild of America’s ‘Best First Feature’, as well as the Writer’s Guild of America’s ‘Best Original Screenplay’. Remember the name Elsie Fisher. After watching Eighth Grade you will agree that her budding talent is unquestionable – make sure you catch her now, as her intergalactic rise to stardom is inevitable. Find out more...

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  • 1:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 8mEverybody loves jumping up and down in muddy puddles! There will be a long line of welly boots to clean after Peppa and her friends visit their first music festival, so remember to wear yours when you visit us this month for 10 brand-new episodes in this 68 minute special! From Miss Rabbit’s air balloon rides, to school trips with Madame Gazelle’s guitar – no one can believe it’s time to celebrate 15 years of adventures with Peppa. Little piggies can look forward to meeting new characters in these episodes, as well as a brilliant feature which involves an interactive song and dance for the littl’uns. Peppa and George will celebrate Grandpa Pig’s birthday at a restaurant and take their first trip to the cinema. Here at The Odyssey, we love seeing the excited faces of anyone walking into our cinema for the first time, so warmly invite you to come on a journey with us to watch Peppa and pals on the big screen! We challenge you to do your best snorts to our friendly staff when you arrive… we think we’ll be louder! Find out more...

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  • Wed 29 May - Shazam! (12A)

    7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 2hr 12mFourteen year old Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is searching for his lost mother when he is placed in a foster home with five other kids, including his roommate Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer – It). But Billy’s life is about to change forever when he is selected by a wizard to be his champion. Now, whenever Billy shouts out a magic word he is transformed into the adult superhero SHAZAM! (played by the brilliant Zachary Levi – Chuck). After he and Freddy start testing out his new powers, as well as using his adult alter-ego for the important things like buying beer and skipping school tests. Billy is soon faced with a threat of catastrophic proportions as the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong), who was previously rejected by the wizard seeks Billy out and attempts to steal his powers for his own. Shazam! is a welcome departure from the dark, gritty tone of the earlier DCEU movies and is a perfect blend of a body swap comedy and an exhilarating superhero blockbuster (think Big meets Superman). So say the word and feel the power – you’ll soon be shouting ‘SHAZAM!’ from the rooftops! Find out more...

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  • 7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 41mStephen King’s #1 New York Times bestseller is given a fresh lease of life in Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer’s re-imagining of this wild, powerful and disturbing classic. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their two young children Ellie and Gage move up from Boston to a rural community in Maine where he is starting up a medical practice. Their neighbour Jud Crandall (John Lithgow) welcomes the family and gives them a tour including the woods adjoining their house, a mysterious burial ground built and maintained by the local children… a Pet Sematary. Jud warns the couple against the eerie place but after a series of tragedies strike the young family, Louis cannot resist travelling there, inadvertently setting off a chain reaction that unleashes an unspeakable evil. Always a dependable actor, Clarke does exemplary work here. As he becomes overcome with grief, you come to understand why he desperately searches for a way to keep his family together. Dr Darren Elliott-Smith (University of Hertfordshire) will introduce this screening with an exploration of horror reboots. Find out more...

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  • Sat 01 Jun - Wonder Park (PG)

    1:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 25mLoveable characters and beautifully realised animation make Wonder Park a jolly romp through an emotional rollercoaster-ride of a movie. June, a precociously smart eight-year-old (voiced by newcomer Brianna Denski) spends her time with her Mum (Jennifer Garner) imagining the world’s most incredible theme park and populating it with her stuffed toy animals. However, when her mother falls ill, June is sent off to Math Camp. Along the way she discovers a life size version of her theme park, complete with stuffed animals come to life. She meets a nervy porcupine (John Oliver), a control freak warthog (Mila Kunis) and a narcoleptic bear (Tom Baker – in an inspired piece of casting!) who has a habit of falling asleep at the worst possible moments. Unfortunately, not all is well in Wonderland. It has been overrun by hordes of chimpanzombies (equally cute and menacing) and June, with the help of her furry friends, must revive the park’s fortunes and save the day. The park acts as a metaphor for June’s struggles with her mum’s illness in a film that celebrates imagination, curiosity and perseverance, underlining the importance of not letting fear stop you from being yourself and doing what you love. Find out more...

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  • 6:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 52mWhen Danny, a Universal Records music executive (Daniel Mays), is on a stag do in the remote Cornish village of Port Isaac, he stumbles upon a ten-man a cappella group of grizzled locals singing traditional sea shanties. His boss Troy (Noel Clarke) urges him to sign the band. Despite having no understanding nor appreciation of the folk music Danny endeavours to land a deal with the rightly sceptical singers, unaware that Troy had actually been joking. However, the more time Danny spends with The Fisherman’s Friends the more he falls in love with the music, as well as the simple joys afforded by a tight-knit village community. He also finds his head being turned by comely local hotelier Alwyn (Tuppence Middleton) and love starts to blossom. Against the backdrop of the rise of history’s most unlikely boy band, what starts as a fish-out-of-water story becomes a tale of redemption much in the vein of Local Hero. Based (somewhat loosely) on the real band The Fisherman’s Friends, Director Chris Foggin has created the kind of warm-hearted feel-good film that Britain specialises in. See this if you liked The Full Monty, Calendar Girls, and Brassed Off. Find out more...

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  • Wed 05 Jun - The Favourite (15)

    1:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 59mWarning – no babies for 15 Cert.If you liked Lanthimos’ absurdly brilliant The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer, you’ll be glad to come for another helping of just the same… And more. Winning Olivia Coleman the Best Actress Oscar, she perfectly captures the tragicomic core of Queen Anne, the barmy ruler of England at the end of the Stuart Era. Her Royal Highness leaves the business of ruling the country to Lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) who seems pretty comfortable in this role until Abigail (Emma Stone) clumsily stumbles into the picture and threatens to displace her from her almost-throne. Both women fiercely competing for the Queen’s favour ends them up in a hilarious love triangle, sharp with sabotage and top-drawer hi-jinx. The delicious power struggle is shot through with playfulness that promises to deliver absurd laughs. The three performances are pitch-perfect, elevated by gorgeous costume design and wide shots that makes this not only a story-telling marvel but also a visual masterpiece. Fiercely funny, the period misadventure is a mischievous romp that really deserves all the fuss. Don’t miss. Find out more...

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  • 7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 39mLegendary French actress Isabelle Huppert stars alongside rising star Chloë Grace Moretz in this taut psychological thriller set in New York. While riding the subway, young waitress Frances (Moretz) finds an abandoned handbag belonging to Huppert’s isolated widow, Greta Hideg. Upon returning the bag, Frances and Greta strike up an unlikely friendship and begin to spend time together. One evening while making dinner at Greta’s house, Frances uncovers a cupboard filled with handbags identical to the one she found on the subway. Disturbed, Frances decides to cut Greta out of her life – a decision which is not taken lightly. What follows is a dizzying descent into obsession, control and manipulation, as well as a sly takedown of America’s ineffective justice system. Neil Jordan (Interview with the Vampire) delivers a punchy script that gifts Huppert the opportunity to unleash a terrifying concoction of calculated evil and raw, unchained aggression – both perfectly demonstrated in a single scene set in a packed Manhattan restaurant. Seamus McGarvey’s evocative cinematography and Javier Navarette’s spiky score perfectly blend to envelop the audience in Greta’s sinister world. Whether you’re an Huppert-obsessive or a potential new convert, come and witness one of the greatest living actresses let loose on the big screen. Find out more...

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  • Fri 07 Jun - The Aftermath (15)

    1:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 49m Keira Knightley brings life and warmth to a sombre post-war romance about shared loss and potential healing through love. Still aching from the death of her son, Rachael Morgan (Knightley) travels to a Hamburg—only just liberated from the crushing weight of Nazism—to join her husband Lewis (Jason Clarke), a kind but overburdened colonel struggling to reconstruct the city. Thanks to Lewis’s dogged decency, the couple’s home in the city is shared with its former owner, architect Stefan Lubert (Alexander Skarsgård), along with rebellious daughter Freda. As Rachael is further distanced from her husband by his impossible responsibilities and Stefan is unjustly brought under fire for his suspected links to the Party, the pair find solace in each other’s company, and, through the resulting affair, a chance to properly mend their shattered inner lives. Adapted from best-selling novel by the director of Testament of Youth, the film does not hide the melodrama that drives its story, but roots it in an interesting point in history – where both buildings and people need to be rebuilt from the ground up – and enlivens it through sensitive and intelligent performances from the leads. Find out more...

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  • 5:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 51mHey You Guys!! Steven Spielberg and Richard Donner’s classic 80s adventure is finally making its long awaited (and much requested) debut at The Odyssey. When a gang of misfit kids discover an ancient map in the attic, they set out on a quest to find a legendary pirate’s treasure to save their homes from being demolished. What follows is a perilous adventure through an underground maze filled with booby traps whilst being pursued by a gang of escaped criminals who want to take the treasure for themselves. One of the most beloved films of the 1980s, The Goonies is still as strong today as it was over 30 years ago. The film is carried by the hyperactive performances of its young cast (including Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman and the inimitable Jeff Cohen as “Chunk”) but at the heart of the story is the camaraderie of childhood, the desire for adventure and the feeling of nostalgia which will thrill and delight you. Dare you double up your Josh Brolin dosage on this Friday night with our 5pm screening of Avengers: Endgame? Goonies never say die! Find out more...

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  • Sat 08 Jun - Bohemian Rhapsody (12A)

    8:45 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 2hr 14m A foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and arguably the greatest and most captivating frontman in the history of music – Freddie Mercury. Defying stereotypes and shattering convention, this biopic traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. Named after Queen’s own progressive rock odyssey. It’s a film that’s had its fair share of problems — Sacha Baron Cohen was originally to be Mercury, but left the project due to creative differences. Director Bryan Singer abruptly left the film when he stopped turning up for shoots, amid frequent clashes with the cast. Another one bites the dust, but the good news is this film is a champion. That’s largely thanks to the man who eventually won the role of Queen’s mercurial singer, Rami Malek, best known for starring in streaming series Mr Robot — expect an Oscar nod for this performance. The film charts the band’s climb to success, culminating with the career-defining performance at Live Aid ‘85. Bolstering the cast are Lucy Boynton as Mary Austin, Mike Myers as EMI executive Ray Foster, and Aidan Gillen as one of the ever-changing Queen managers. Find out more...

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  • 6:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 2hr 13mSecrets surrounding a mother’s old romance resurface, as her daughter disappears in the middle of a family wedding, in the small Spanish village where she grew up. Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, celebrated for The Salesman and A Separation, brings spouses Pénelope Cruz and Javier Bardem together for a tense performance in this Spanish-language thriller. Laura (Cruz) returns from Buenos Aires, her adopted city to her hometown in rural Spain, for her sister’s wedding. Coming with her is her son Diego and teenage daughter Irene, who is quickly attracted to a local boy, Felipe. Felipe shares with Irene a much-gossiped tale of how her mother broke the heart of a local man, Paco (Bardem), when she left town. During the festivities, Irene disappears. If Laura is to get her daughter back, she must overcome her aching despair and unthread the web of secrets which keep her from the truth. A community rife with secrets falls apart as suspicion deepens the cracks in relationships. The breath-taking countryside and intriguing plot perfectly complement each other, but it is the two veteran lead performances that complete this original mystery. Find out more...

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  • Mon 10 Jun - Vagabond (1985) (S)+ intro (15)

    7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 41m Part of the ‘A Cinematic Odyssey: Postcards from Europe’ strand. Agnès Varda’s eyes and voice enriched cinema with endless inventiveness. The place she occupied is irreplaceable. This month we celebrate the life and work of the late ‘godmother of the French New Wave’ with what is arguably her masterwork. Having delivered one of the great lead performances of the decade in Maurice Pialat’s brittle 1983 teen movie, A Nos Amours, Sandrine Bonnaire once more shows herself as a master of playing indefatigable and free-spirited women masking deep wells of fragility and confusion. Set against the frigid winter landscape of rural France, it follows Mona (Bonnaire), a complex and contradictory drifter, who survives on handouts and ephemeral liaisons with strangers. Agnès Varda’s splintered portrait of the enigmatic woman is told through flashbacks of those who encounter her. Among the finest films of the 1980s, Varda’s powerful story of a young female drifter moving beyond the bounds of society remains essential viewing. The film will be introduced by Dr Paul Sutton, who will stay for the end of the film for a post-screening discussion in the front-tier of the downstairs seating area. Find out more...

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  • 1:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 2hr 5mFred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is an idiosyncratic journalist, with a penchant for brightly-coloured anoraks and a self-destructive streak. Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is US Secretary of State – a powerhouse diplomat with a talent for almost everything. After running into Fred by chance, Charlotte impulsively employs him as her speech writer, unaware that he has harboured feelings for her since his youth. A fish out of water on Charlotte’s elite team, Fred is unprepared for her glamourous and high stakes lifestyle. However, sparks fly as their unmistakable chemistry leads to a round-the-world romance that becomes embroiled in a series of dangerous and outlandish incidents. Rogen and Theron are joined by O’Shea Jackson Jr (Straight Outta Compton) as Fred’s best friend, and Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) as the old-fashioned and sexist President Chambers. Andy Serkis, Alexander Skarsgård and Lisa Kudrow bolster this fun and quirky cast. In one of the most welcome surprises of the cinematic year, Jonathan Levine’s enjoyable film shows that unorthodox pairings can pay off and that there is still life in the romantic comedy. Find out more...

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  • Thu 13 Jun - Green Book (12A)

    7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 2hr 07mMahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen bring lyrical chemistry to this untold story about an unlikely real-life friendship. Bafta-winning Ali plays the world-class African-American pianist Dr. Don Shirley, who is about to embark on a tour from Manhattan to the Deep South in the early 1960s. Dr. Shirley needs a driver (and protector) and is recommended the tough-talking, Italian-American bouncer, Tony Lip (Mortensen). Shirley must rely upon the ‘Green Book’, the real guidebook on which the film is named, to find motels and restaurants that will accept African-American travellers. The further south they go, the more they are confronted not only by racism and danger, but also their own differences. For the role, Mortensen put on 20 pounds by eating a diet of pasta and pizza, and never refusing more than one dessert, and it seems to have paid off with his performance gaining plenty of Best Actor noms. But it’s Mahershala’s virtuoso performance which elevates this charming buddy-movie. Nominated for five Oscars, and winning several more accolades at the recent Baftas and Golden Globes, Green Book is at once hilarious and deeply moving. Find out more...

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  • 5:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 2hr 1m***Certificate 15***Ratings Info: drug misuse, sex, very strong language.Hot on the heels of runaway success Bohemian Rhapsody, it’s now the turn of Elton John – one of the greatest songwriters, costume-curators, and sunglasses-enthusiasts – to be the subject matter of the next blockbusting biopic. Get ready for the unbelievable and uncensored human story of Reginald Dwight. Born and raised in a council house in Pinner, he went on to sell more than 300 million records. He is currently on his monstrously huge 3 year tour Farewell Yellow Brick Road which began in September 2018. But his road to superstardom wasn’t always as glittery as it appeared. Enter Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eddie The Eagle), to don the many wild and wonderful costumes that have illuminated Elton John’s career. We see the songwriter’s early days at home with his mother Sheila (Bryce Dallas Howard, Jurassic World), his meeting and fruitful writing partnership with Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell, Billy Elliot), and his manager and former lover John Reid (Richard Madden, Bodyguard) watching on as he struggles with his sexuality, drugs and superstardom. Find out more...

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  • Sat 15 Jun - Detective Pikachu (PG)

    1:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 44mThe first live-action film set in the Pokémon universe, Detective Pikachu finds the loveable yellow ball of electricity going undercover. When Private eye Harry Goldman disappears, his young son Tim (Justice Smith) and Pikachu (voiced hilariously by Ryan Reynolds!) must track him down. Adorable and wise-cracking, Pokémon’s jump to live action is an unexpectedly beautiful treat that shows off fantastic character design. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City – a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world – they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe. The first film to truly break the infamous ‘video-game movie curse’, who would have thought that one of the most enjoyable buddy-cop movies of 2019 would star a Pokémon? And with a cameo from Bill Nighy, what’s not to love? Find out more...

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  • 5:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 51m‘He fought his first battle on the Scottish Highlands in 1536. He will fight his greatest battle on the streets of New York City in 1986. His name is Connor MacLeod. He is immortal.’ Russell Mulcahy’s iconic 1986 action fantasy is back on the big screen for Father’s Day. After he recovers from a fatal wound in battle, members of his clan in the village interpret his survival as the work of evil and banish him. He later finds out the truth from swordsman Ramirez (Sean Connery) that he is a member of a legion of immortals. Connor lives peacefully through the centuries until 1985, the time of The Gathering, where the remaining immortals will come together to do battle until only one remains… With dazzling special effects, one of the most memorable villains in modern cinema (courtesy of the incomparable Clancy Brown), a quintessentially eighties vision of the neon lights and rain soaked streets of New York City and an epic soundtrack by Queen, Highlander is a feast for the senses and the perfect saga of swordsmanship for Father’s Day. Find out more...

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  • Mon 17 Jun - Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) (U)

    7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 42mOne of Ealing’s most beloved masterworks receives a much-deserved restoration, a darkly comic and mercilessly devious satire on English social injustice and the murderous methods required to correct them. Cast out with his mother from the aristocratic D’Ascoyne family due to his improper birth, Louis Mazzini (Dennis Price) learns of his loose connection to a notable dukedom, which is separated from him by eight other heirs, each played by Alec Guinness in one of his first film performances. Undeterred, Louis sets out to destroy every one of them through various inventive methods (most notably exploding caviar), while carrying on an affair with his equally unscrupulous childhood friend Sibyl (Joan Greenwood), who soon cottons on to his schemes. The film is most famous for Guinness’s masterclass of aristocratic caricatures, ably assisted by the ingenious cinematography, and Price’s urbane, Wilde-esque and venomous serial killer. Completely devoid of cosiness or prestige, the film savagely attacks British hypocrisy and privilege (the director boasted that it ‘paid no regard to established moral convention’) through rich, witty language and action, presenting a world so rotten in its structure that murder seems like a justified response. Find out more...

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  • 7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 28mIn 1972, at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church of Los Angeles, Aretha Franklin took to the pulpit to honour the formative church roots of her youth. What ensued was two nights of ethereal gospel, Aretha’s voice soaring like the holiest of trumpets to praise Jesus and ‘Say A Little Prayer’. Backed by the Southern California Community Choir, with her father, C.L. Franklin, and four-time Grammy winner and mentor Reverend James Cleveland by her side, the atmosphere is electric. This celestial live recording became the celebrated double album Amazing Grace and remains the best-selling gospel album of all time. Captured by and featuring director Sydney Pollack, the footage was shelved for 47 years due to technical flaws. Now lovingly restored at the request of Pollack before his death in 2008, Amazing Grace stands as an essential filmed record of one of the greatest live performances in history. A spiritual reverie, this fantastic documentary serves as both a church service and recording session, revealing Aretha Franklin in her element at the height of her 50 year career. Surrounded by brothers and sisters in the sanctity of the black church, there is no expression of worship more beautiful. Find out more...

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  • Thu 20 Jun - High Life (18)

    7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 53mRenowned and fearless auteur Claire Denis takes a giant leap into science fiction and the results are out of this world. This work is nothing short of prophetic. Visions of a golden-yellow black hole, created well over a year before the recent NASA photographs surfaced, can attest to this. The French master-filmmaker, director of such paragons as Chocolat (1988) and Beau Travail, has teamed up with a cast of galactic proportions for her English-language debut. In this abstract presentation of a future not-too-distant, criminals serving life sentences are fired into space on a seemingly hopeless mission to harvest energy from black holes. Whilst aboard their interstellar jail, the prisoners are experimented on by the devious Dr. Dibs – played deliciously by Juliette Binoche. This is intercut with scenes of Robert Pattinson’s inmate, Monte, wandering the now-deserted spacecraft accompanied by his newborn daughter, Willow. The film orbits the relationship between these two plot strands. Praised for her tactile and emotive filmmaking, Denis once again succeeds in crafting a pensive study of human nature, only this time in the frontier of deep space. Cosmic, contemplative and astounding. Find out more...

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  • 9:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 56mAlready being touted as ‘the next Hitchcock’, Jordan Peele (Get Out) is clearly developing a name for himself in the horror genre as a talented auteur with this sophomore film. Us is an initially sun-soaked psychological-horror where husband and wife Gabe and Adelaide Wilson (Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong’o – Black Panther) return with their two children to their family’s beachfront home. Adelaide struggles with traumatic memories of an event from her past growing up in that same home, and becomes increasingly anxious that something bad will happen to her family. One night, four masked strangers turn up at the house and the situation descends into a cat-and-mouse game for survival. Underneath the masks, the strangers are revealed to be doppelgängers of the family members themselves. Seen as a more accessible horror-comedy than its forerunner, Peele’s film is a 21st Century take on Gothic Horror tropes of the Uncanny, Us vs. Them oppositions, and a spine-chilling musing on wealthy middle-class African-American apathy and private guilt, shame and impostor syndrome. Find out more...

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  • Sat 22 Jun - John Wick: Chapter 3 -Parabellum (15)

    7:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 2hr 11mMotorbike gunfights, attack dogs and Keanu Reeves in hot pursuit on horseback – John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (try saying that title three times quickly) is a barnstorming B-movie that has it all. That’s right, Reeves is back as the titular character in this neo-noir franchise, with Chad Stahelski (who was Reeves’ stunt double in The Matrix) directing the project a third time. They are even developing a television series set in the John Wick universe – let’s hope they don’t burn the wick at both ends! John Wick: Chapter 2 was the first film to reunite Laurence Fishburne and Reeves since The Matrix Trilogy, and the former is back as the Bowery King, an underground crime lord. Ian McShane also reprises his role as head honcho Winston. Halle Berry is introduced as Sofia, a lethal assassin and old friend of Wick. Legendary retired hitman John Wick is forced to fight his way out of New York when a $14 million price is put on his head, putting him at odds with the deadliest assassins alive. Wick is declared ‘excommunicado’ by the High Table and soon faces the ultimate fight of his life Find out more...

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  • 1:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 2hr 4m Shooting pure energy from her fists, possessing superhuman strength and able to travel at the speed of light, Captain Marvel is the first female superhero to front a Marvel film – which was released worldwide on International Women’s Day. Vers – an elite member of the Kree race’s Starforce – experiences visions that come to her like memories, in which she is growing up on Earth. As she and  Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) undertake a Starforce mission against the shapeshifting Skrull (their leader portrayed by Ben Mendelsohn), things go awry and Vers escapes to Earth. Her crash landing attracts the attention of a younger Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). As Vers pieces together her identity, she discovers the full extent of her powers and transforms into the mighty Captain Marvel. Talks for a female-led film have been at Marvel Studios since 2013, with Black Widow and Peggy Carter among those under consideration. They went for a new character – the most powerful hero the MCU has ever seen. The Oscar-winning Brie Larson meets this challenge head on.   Accompanied by a glorious 90s soundtrack from No Doubt, Nirvana, Garbage, R.E.M. and more, this explosive flick heralds the approaching final chapter – Avengers: Endgame. Find out more...

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  • Mon 24 Jun - Woman at War (S) (12A)

    7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 40mIf you think an Icelandic-Ukrainian comedy following a bow-and-arrow wielding, environmentalist choir conductor isn’t quite up your street, you might want to think again. Halla is not happy with the presence of a recently built aluminium plant near her home in the Icelandic highlands. Armed with her trusty longbow, she takes it upon herself to purposely damage electricity pylons to cut the power supply to the plant. While the Icelandic government increase efforts to catch Halla, a long-forgotten application to adopt an orphan child from Ukraine is approved and derails her plans for further illegal and potentially dangerous activism. Premiering at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and put forward as Iceland’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, Woman at War has turned heads worldwide. In particular, the film’s idiosyncratic star Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir has attracted so much attention, that it was announced that Jodie Foster is to direct and play Halla in an American remake! Amidst real-world climate emergencies and the rise of environmental activists such as Greta Thunberg and the Extinction Rebellion group, it seems that this film could not have come at a better time. Fiercely original and effortlessly feel-good. Find out more...

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  • 7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 51mBallet and film complement each other perfectly in this biopic of the superstar dancer that captures life under Castro’s rule – Carlos Acosta changed dance forever when he became the first black principal dancer of The Royal Ballet. Born in Cuba, Carlos’s father always called him Yuli after the spirit of an Indian brave from the Sioux tribe. Travelling to London he became one of the most celebrated performers of our time. The concept may sound overcomplicated: a biopic played in flashbacks, mixed with real footage of the dancer on stage, framed by the conceit that ‘current’ Carlos is creating an autobiographical dance piece in which he also performs as his own father. But it works. It really works. Acosta himself interprets his history through ballet. With beautiful recreations of Cuba, and a script from Paul Laverty, the writer of I, Daniel Blake, we follow young Acosta as he bridles against a strict training regime to discover his own voice and unique talent, making sense of himself in the unfamiliar world of London. A stunning tribute to the power of dance. Find out more...

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  • Fri 28 Jun - Nightmare on Elm Street 2 +intro (18)

    7:30 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 25mAfter starring in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, Mark Patton left Hollywood behind. More than 30 years later, the film has become a homoerotic cult classic – and its leading man is coming to terms with what he calls the ‘ultimate betrayal.’ High-school teen Jesse (Patton) becomes plagued by disturbing nightmares of notorious dream-stalking monster Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). Freddy sets his sights on possessing Jesse’s body as a means of enacting his revenge against the parents and children of Springwood. Jack Sholder’s film has become notorious in cult and horror circles as the definitive ‘closeted’ horror text that becomes often hilariously suggestive in its portrayal of the homoerotic relationship between Jesse and Freddy. Nightmare 2 is also the subject of a forthcoming documentary Scream, Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street based on Patton’s experience as a young gay actor in 1980s Hollywood. Queer-Horror academic Dr Darren Elliott-Smith concludes Queer Fears – a day-long conference, made up of visually-illustrated talks – with an introduction to this cult-classic screening. Tickets for the Queer Fears Symposium – includes access to the evening film screening: £20 (full) or £15 (concessions and unwaged). Spaces limited to 50. Booking via: https://store.herts.ac.uk/conferences-and-events/events/humanities/queer-fears-a-one-day-symposium-on-queer-horror-film-and-tv Find out more...

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  • 1:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 25mTerrier Max (Patton Oswalt) is still trying to cope with life. His owner (Ellie Kemper) is married and now has a toddler which makes Max even more overprotective and neurotic than usual. During a family trip to a farm, Max and his sidekick Duke (Eric Stonestreet) are confronted with a host of animals (including dog-hating cows, hostile foxes and a particularly terrifying turkey), but luckily veteran farm dog Rooster (Harrison Ford) is on hand to offer life advice and try and turn Max’s neuroses around. Meanwhile, Gidget the Pomeranian (Jenny Slate) and feline partner Chloe (Lake Bell) are trying to rescue Max’s favourite toy from a cat-filled apartment. No easy task, especially as Chloe has discovered the joys of catnip! What’s more, Snowball the rabbit (Kevin Hart) has developed delusions of grandeur since his owner started dressing him in superhero pyjamas. Produced by the same team that brought you the Despicable Me series and directed by Chris Renaud, The Secret Life of Pets 2 is an unmissable slice of irreverent action and humour for kids of all ages. Find out more...

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  • Sat 29 Jun - Quadrophenia (1979)StA FilmFest (15)

    7:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 1hr 55mScreening as part of this year’s ST ALBANS FILM FESTIVAL and celebrating its 40th anniversary. The iconic film of The Who’s great album looks no calmer or more well-heeled on reaching forty, retaining its raw, savage energy and realism even as a hallowed cult icon. Trapped in a dismal 60s London suburb, bored by his deadening office job and alienated by his parents, teenager Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels, also of EastEnders fame) finds escape in the drug-fuelled, music-blaring and explosively violent antics of the Mods, attracting both the attention of Steph (Leslie Ash) and the hostility of the rival Rockers. Both tensions come to a head in Brighton on a weekend getaway, where Jimmy’s romantic ambitions collide with an all-out, take-no-prisoners gang war, spearheaded by the magnetic icon Ace Face (Sting). After this energetic climax, Jimmy’s hedonistic fantasies collapse and only a wasteland of grim disillusion remains. Director Franc Roddam vividly and honestly evokes the bleak reality of 60s suburban Britain and the exhilarating lengths young men went to escape from it. Electrified by The Who’s evocative music, the film still stands on its own as a portrait of a young man’s chokingly hopeless situation, and the furious lengths he goes to transcend it. Find out more...

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  • 6:00 PM

    Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins Film run time: 3hr 37m (including 15mins intermission)Part 1 – 2hr 7minsIntermission – 15 minsPart 2 – 1hr 15minsFor this year’s St Albans Roman Festival and in celebration of the film’s 60th anniversary we bring you William Wyler’s multi-Oscar-winning epic. Before CGI made it possible to digitally render any vision imagined, Wyler had to do it for real, with gigantic sets of incredible scale populated by tens of thousands of extras. The film was, at the time, the most expensive movie ever made, costing $15 million (going twice over budget!), but the money is all on screen: the military parades, the sea battles and, most memorably of all, the chariot race – the arena is the largest set ever built. But for all the scale this is a human story of one betrayed man’s search for vengeance. Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston), the eldest son of a wealthy Jewish family, is falsely accused of insurrection and thrown into slavery by Roman nobleman and boyhood friend Messala (Stephen Boyd). His fight to reclaim his status and good name takes him on a years-long journey across the ancient world. The film has gone on to become a classic of cinema, succeeding both at the box office and with critics – winning an unsurpassed 11 Oscars. Find out more...

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Overview

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  • Entertainment > Cinemas

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  • Address: 166 London Road
  • Town: St Albans
  • County: Hertfordshire
  • Postcode: AL1 1PG

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