SHE could very well be the Bournemouth Odeon’s most loyal fan.
Liana Copland, 34, will go to the Westover Road cinema for her 167th and last time today.
The cinema is set to close this afternoon after 88 years, making way for a new 10-screen Odeon multiplex at the BH2 development off the Square.
Liana will see the final film, La La Land, on the big Odeon 1 screen.
“I’m already having that unsettling feeling in my stomach, and over the past week, it has been impossible to hold back the tears,” she said.
She was six when her late mum Mary took her to the Odeon in 1988, to see Who Framed Roger Rabbit – and the cinema became a big part of her life.
She has kept almost all her tickets, some clean popcorn containers, branded bags and other souvenirs. She even bought via eBay some 35mm film “snipes” – the promotional clips shown before the movie.
She notched up 37 visits to the nearby ABC and only two to Poole’s Empire, when it was a UCI.
She saw last year’s Doctor Strange 16 times, Mad Max Fury Road 10 times and The Fifth Element six times.
When she saw Mad Max Fury Road at the ABC for the 10th time, the management put the ornate red screen curtains to use at the start of the show especially for her. “I’ll never forget it,” she said.
She says the Odeon, originally called the Regent and later the Gaumont, is unique.
“It was the first cinema I ever went to and the Regent building has soul and a beautiful look that you don’t find anywhere in town,” she said.
“There is something irreplaceable about old architecture – from fine details, shapes of the walls, the smell, down to the creaks of the floorboards and echoes of sound through the corridors. I love the place very much. I don’t feel anything for multiplexes and believe in quality over quantity.”
She intends to try the new Odeon, with its big iSense screen and Dolby Atmos sound.
“I have been looking forward to experiencing Dolby Atmos for over four years, so will be looking forward to new tech, but am not in a hurry.
“I’d like to see everyone enjoy the new cinema, staff to get used to the new surroundings, and to find a quieter time to watch a film. From what I’ve heard about iSense, it seems to be a whole new experience for cinema goers. I’m proud that Bournemouth is home to Odeon’s flagship multiplex,” she said.
She believes the Westover Road building could have a future as a venue for film and theatre if restored to its 1930s condition, with room for an orchestra and restaurant. And she said she is in awe of its designer William Edward Trent.
“Thank you, Mr Trent,” she said.