November 2018~ Farewell Odeon Whiteleys

Finding a good cinema is like finding a good pub or restaurant. You keep going back.

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The cinema in Whiteleys was originally a UCI (which was bought out by Odeon who in turn are owned by AMC Theatres) opened it’s doors on December 1st 1989.

I’ve been going this cinema pretty much since it opened. My earliest memories of films watched at Whiteleys include The Dream Team, Hook, Ghostbusters 2 and Back to the Future 2.

To this day I still see films more than once if I enjoy them. It was the same back in 1991 when Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was released. I believe the number of times I saw this was in the high 20s/low 30s. Can’t recall exactly.

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I do frequent other cinemas when I need to but this has been my go-to location since it opened. I’ve always found the staff at Odeon to be genuine film fans themselves and it has led to good conversations over the years. No matter which Odeon location I visit I always find the same of their teams.

Back in the very early 90’s myself, my brother and our friends Mark, Peter and Robin got to know the managers (Tim and Steve) very well. We were so regular that we were lucky enough to get posters, standees and other items from them once the films had completed their run. I still have some of these even today. Now of course you can still get posters etc. but they ask for a donation to MIND, the mental health charity which I am happy to do.

Over the past few years we have lost other iconic Odeon cinemas that I also used to attend including Odeon Kensington High Street and Odeon Marble Arch where I saw Star Wars with my Grandad. I hope we don’t lose any more!

Now Odeon Whiteleys is to close on November 25th this year. 5 days before its 29th birthday. You wouldn’t know it as when I went last night to see my last two films (Fantastic Beasts 2 and A Star Is Born) the team were still working their socks off and the place was spotless. They had quiet periods in between films but they didn’t stop- they could easily have done so what with the closure the next day.


Farewell Odeon Whiteleys, you have served me, my family and friends, and the local community well over the years.

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Thank you for all the years of fun and entertainment! I will miss you….

November 2018~ ‘Cal Mah’ Stargate Con

After a rough start due to issues with the original venue, FCD Events (run by my friends David & Wil) Unofficial Stargate convention ‘Cal Mah’ took place over the weekend of 16th to 18th of November at the King Power Stadium, home to Leicester City FC in partnership with the lovely people at Stargate Command, MGM’s fan community.

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A number of guests from nearly all of the SG shows were present. In attendance were : Chris Judge (Teal’c), Gary Jones (Sgt Walter Harriman), Dan Shea (Sgt Siler), Cliff Simon (Ba’al), Corin Nemec (Jonas Quinn), Craig Fairbrass (Arkad) and Alexis Cruz (Skaara/Klo’rel) all from Stargate SG-1, Rainbow Sun Francks (Lt. Aiden Ford and Torri Higginson (Dr Elizabeth Weir) from Stargate Atlantis. David Blue (Eli Wallace) represented Stargate Universe.

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On the Friday night a party was held with the theme of “Return to 1969”. It was in honour of Don S Davis (General George Hammond) and many of the guests shared memories and anecdotes of their time working (and drinking) with Don. This was followed by Gary Jones doing an hour of stand-up comedy.

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Both days of the con had a similar format. All guests took part in talks, all of which were not only interesting but absolutely hilarious and insightful.

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The crew from Stargate Command also did a very interesting talk about them, who they are and the future of Stargate. They brought with them a free green-screen photo shoot where you could have your photo (or a video) in front of any Gate. A Wheel-of-Fortune type spinning allowing you to win posters, buttons or stickers. The SGC also provided the event with a life-size Stargate prop. An Ancients control chair was also available for attendees to have a photo with.

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The celebs also took part in photoshoots, both regular and green screen and autograph session.

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A number of dealers were selling items from a variety of shows and films.

As I was crewing the event I didn’t get the chance to take many photos so thanks to everyone who let me borrow theirs (Including Holly & Josh Bowler). I was too busy helping Adam with photoshoots, helping Simon with the stage and audio-visual kit as well as running the Cal Mah quiz with Neil and Simon.

1120 were in attendance and everyone seemed to have a good time. The weekend was brought to a close with a wrap party hosted by the SGC.

Everyone was awesome. Special shout outs to David Blue, Corin Nemec, Dan Shea and Torri Higginson who were amazing! The folks from SGC were very friendly and helpful and seemed to fit in well.

Photos below!