Our seaside resort is ruined by 'ugly & offensive' eyesore – we want it torn down now | The Sun
A SEAFRONT attraction has been branded “pig ugly” by residents who have urged the owners to give it new look.
The art-deco building is surrounded by historical architecture on the popular seaside promenade.
The Odeon regularly vies for the title of the ugliest building in Brighton, east Sussex.
It has long been seen as an eyesore with its brutalist architecture clashing with the Regency seafront.
Efforts have been made to smarten some other buildings in the area but residents say the 50-year-old cinema looks “tired and washed out” and is a “blight on the city”.
They want to see a major revamp with a whole new frontage and an internal refurbishment of the eight-screen entertainment centre.
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Ellie Dryden, 25, of Brighton, said: “It’s pig ugly really. It’s just a huge big rectangle and nothing has been done to make it look nice.
“The owners should clad it in shells or something or turn it into a mural. It’s just offensive to the eye and spoils out city. Come on, let’s do something about it.”
Dean, 34, of nearby Rottingdean, said: “I wish they’d do something with it because it’s tired and washed out. It’s a disgrace. If they did something special with it then it would lift the seafront.”
Sam Edwards, 30, from Brighton said: “It’s been like this for as long as I can remember. It’s not much better on the inside because it smells of damp and it’s dirty.
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“If they could do something with the exterior that would be a start. Other city council’s would make them smarten it up but not our lot.
"It’s a blight on our city. The owners should put their heads together with the city council and do something about it.”
Celeste, 28, from Paris, France, said: “It is not a good look for this city. It looks bad and makes the seafront look bad. I think they should pay some money and change it.”
The Rank Organisation bought the seafront site in 1965 and created the Top Rank Centre with bars, a dance hall, ten-pin bowling, ice skating and conference hall.
So grand were the plans for the leisure centre that Rank topped with building with a golden crown.
However the centre did not prove as popular as was hoped and the company had a rethink.
In 1973, a large portion of the huge building was converted into a triple screen multiplex cinema.
The nightclub – now Pryzm – and bars lived on and the cinema, which now has eight screens, is a popular draw.
There are several outlets within the centre including a bar, Steinbeck & Shaw, a Costa Coffee and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlour.
Relentlessly battered by the harsh seaside weather, the exterior has suffered badly with flaking paintwork and oxidising metal window frames giving is down-at-heel appearance.
With group debts of around £1.3bn, Rank sold its Odeon cinema chain for £280m and it is now owned by AMC.
It regularly vies for the title of the city’s ugliest building along with its adjoining neighbour, The Brighton Centre, which was built in the 1960s.
Inside does not fair much better with cinema-goers complaining of heating malfunctions, leaks from the roof and poor service.
On Tripadvisor, one Brighton resident said: “Worst cinema experience ever! Screen 2, stunk of damp in there, absolutely freezing!!
“Everyone sat huddled in coats and hats, felt colder than outside. Never been so cold, came out and there were several people waiting to see someone to complain to, a manager came down and said ‘yes the heating in screen 2 is broken, I tried to fix it but not working’ that was it, no apology or offer of voucher, nothing! Won’t be going back.”
Another said: “This whole place needs doing up. Place is falling apart. Seats falling to bits, the screen smells damp and mouldy. The other cinemas in town are much nicer, modern and cost the same.”
In 2007 plans were drawn by Brighton & Hove City Council and Standard Life Investments to replace the Brighton Centre and Odeon Kingswest by expanding Churchill Square shopping centre.
The scheme would include conference facilities, a new cinema, a “top quality” hotel, more shops and possibly homes.
However in 2010 it was reported that these plans would be on hold for at least another three years and no work has been carried out.
It comes after residents living in a stunning seaside town with one of the UK's best beaches revealed even celebs love it.
Others complained they're being forced out of their seaside town by loud party-goers.
A Brighton and Hove Council spokesman said: “The Odeon cinema building is owned by abrdn, not the council.
“We would like to see it improved as part of a wider regeneration of the whole area around Churchill Square, which the Odeon building is part of.
“We are aware that Abrdn are currently seeking to sell the site.
“We want to work with the new owners on a shared vision for our city centre – including how the Odeon building can be improved.
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“Like our city, this site has massive potential.”
The Sun Online has approached the building's owners ABRDN and leaseholders Odeon cinemas for comment.
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