22 May 2014
The Minister for Planning and Environment has proposed designating the Odeon Cinema in Bath Street a Grade 1 listed building to reflect its national architectural and historic significance.
The 1952 cinema building is already listed but its heritage value is being re-evaluated by Jersey Heritage as part of an ongoing review of all Jersey’s historic buildings and places.
The proposal to assign Grade 1 status to the building would highlight its rarity in the British Isles as an architecturally complete example of a post-war 1950s cinema.
The growth of cinema is also a significant cultural development of the twentieth century and the Odeon is considered to be an important cultural and physical symbol of the regeneration of Jersey after the Occupation.
Jersey's distinctive character
Director of Policy and the Historic Environment at the Department of the Environment, Kevin Pilley said “The buildings and places that the Minister seeks to identify and protect – the traditional granite farm houses, Victorian terraces and crescents and Napoleonic-period forts and towers – are fundamental to Jersey’s distinctive character and what makes the Island so special.”
“This also needs to include those buildings – such as the Odeon – which are rare in a UK context. The Minister has a legal responsibility to identify, assess and designate architecturally and culturally important buildings so that their particular interest can be considered as part of the planning process when proposals are put forward to change them.”
Opportunity to comment
The Department of the Environment and Jersey Heritage are working with property owners as part of the process of review and designation. The Odeon's owners have been notified of the Minister’s intention to keep the building on the list and give it the highest protection. The owners now have an opportunity to comment and after this, the Minister will decide on its status.
It’s expected that all relevant Jersey properties and places will be listed by the end of this year which will mean that that all the Island’s heritage assets will have statutory protection for the first time.
The proposal to list the Odeon comes in the same week that a court ruling has provided a clear signal that the way Jersey protects its historic environment through the listings process is robust and fit for purpose.