Norwich cinema to open Christmas Day

Odeon Riverside, Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams

Odeon Riverside, Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

More than 120 film screenings have been scheduled for December 25 at Odeon cinemas across the country, including Norwich's IMAX multiplex.

The Odeon Group's decision to show films on Sunday, December 25 has been met with criticism from Church leaders who are angry that the chain isn't respecting the Christian holiday.

Over 120 screenings will be shown across 20 Odeon cinemas on Christmas Day, some of which will clash with church services.

Norwich's Odeon cinema, located at the Riverside, will be showing big blockbuster hits on the 25th, including Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt's sci-fi flick, Passengers, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

There will be five screenings of Passengers throughout the day and eight of Rogue One. These will be in various formats, including 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D.


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The BFG will also be screened on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day for those with younger children.

Despite the disapproval of the Church of England's ruling body, the General Synod, and of our readers, 83pc of whom said they wouldn't go to the cinema on Christmas Day, local clergy men and women aren't as concerned about the cinema opening over the religious holiday.

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The Revd. Canon Janice Scott of St Andrew's Church, Trowse, said: 'If people want to go to the cinema on Christmas Day, then they should. Closing the cinema won't do anything to change someone's attitude towards the church.'

In recent years the cinema company has also been condemned by the Church for failing to show an advert featuring the Archbishop of Canterbury and others reciting from the Lord's Prayer.

Under the Christmas Day Trading Act from 2004, shops of more than 280 square metres are prohibited from opening, but no such restrictions apply to cinemas.

Staff who work at the cinema over the holiday will receive extra pay and are offered free transport to and from the cinema.

An ODEON spokesperson said: 'Watching a film together is a popular activity on Christmas Day, and we are opening 20 of our 121 cinemas including Leicester, Manchester Printworks and Leeds Bradford to show a selection of Hollywood and Bollywood blockbusters.

'Alongside many other businesses in the hospitality industry, we are happy to be open in areas where there is both demand from guests, and willingness from colleagues who have volunteered to work. We look forward to hosting our guests on Christmas Day.'

• Would you go to the cinema on Christmas Day? Let us know in the comments below.

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