Leigh Art Trail Starts - A well established part of Southend's cultural calendar started in 1997. Leigh Art Trail for a week each year invites the public to marvel at the local artistic talent. Their wares on show in galleries, homes, shops and restaurants. It has grown to be noted as more than just a signifcant event for the town but has noted eminence in the county and beyond.
New Constituency Born - Rochford and Southend East became a new constituency in 1997. Teddy Taylor Conservative, took the seat for the first time, retaining it in 2001. James Dudderidge replaced Sir Teddy on retirement and again kept the seat blue in 2005.
General Election 1997
Thursday 1st May 1997
Country elects Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair
The Odeon Closes - The Odeon closed its doors for the very last time on Saturday 5th April 1997 with Space Jam shown on screen one and Star Wars (on reissue) in screen two.
The cinema had a fantastic reputation in the town as the hive for live entertainment with such luminaries as Laurel and Hardy, The Beatles and Roy Orbison all appearing. In 1970 two screens were installed and part of the lower foyer area turning to retail. By 1997 it had had it's day and was very outdated for today's modern cinema goers, hence in 1996 a new multiplex opened up in Victoria Plaza.
Before the building was demolished a small fireworks display was set up to send the old building off with a BANG!
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