The Watford Observer is again delighted to be teaming up with its friends at Watford Museum to take another journey back to the past to recall the key events and dates that helped shape the town’s future.

Part 32 of '50 events and dates that shaped Watford' recalls when the screens fell permanently silent in the last remaining cinema in the High Street.

The museum's volunteer archivist Christine Orchard said: "On October 15, 1983, the Odeon, Watford’s last cinema on the High Street closed.

"It had opened on May 3, 1937 as the Gaumont, with around 2000 seats.

Watford Observer:

The Gaumont c1953

"One well-known name connected with the cinema was the resident organist, Tommy Dando who was often heard on radio broadcasts.

Watford Observer:

Tommy Dando

"Renamed the Odeon in 1964 (many continued to call it the Gaumont), the auditorium was divided into three separate screens in 1974. After closure the old cinema was demolished leaving Watford with a remaining cinema in Merton Road.

Watford Observer:

What was the location of the cinema in 2018. Picture: Google Street View

"In a sense it was people's viewing habits that shaped Watford and now we have Vue out of town multi-screen cinema and more recently Cineworld in the Atria shopping centre."

Watford Museum is open Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. No booking is necessary but Covid prevention measures are still in place to keep visitors safe.