Despite closing its doors in 2002, Colchester’s former Odeon Cinema remains a derelict cavity, frequented by the anti-social.

The picture-house’s Art Deco exterior has succumbed to the elements, and the internal structure of the Crouch Street eyesore has become a canvas for graffiti rebels.

In 2017, the owners were given planning permission to turn the pigeon-infested building into flats and shops.

We’ve since learnt it is now too damaged to convert.

Following concerns recently raised by a nearby business owners, who described the crumbling structure as a danger to the public.

I have come up with five ways developers could rejuvenate the site occupied by the deserted cinema.

Music Venue

According to UK Music, 35 per cent of the country’s venues have closed in the last decade, a figure that has risen as a result of noise complaints from residents of newly built accommodations.

But a state-of-the art music venue, with the capacity and pulling power to book some of the nation’s biggest touring acts, would undoubtedly prove popular.

Jobs would be created, for example for events management and sound engineering students.

Local bands would be provided with the opportunity to support some of the industry’s most established musicians and gig-goers would no longer have to travel into London to see their favourite artists.

Cinema-themed hotel and bar

Although the current building has to be torn down, a new venture could pay homage to what was the go-to cinema for Colchester’s movie-lovers for 70 years.

A cinema-themed hotel and bar could feature bedrooms decorated with reproduced props from some of the biggest movies in cinematic history, and the drinks and food options could take inspiration from those very same films.

Lady and the Tramp Spaghetti Bolognese could be a popular main dish, while the James Bond might be your choice of tipple.

Indoor sports centre

When the cinema first opened in February 1931, it boasted a seated capacity of 1,446, and by 1974 a further two screens had been added.

So, there is potentially the space to consider a multiplex indoor sports centre.

With artificial football and rugby pitches, basketball and tennis courts, and a central location, it could be a hit with keep-fit fanatics or sport fans looking to shoot a few hoops before heading to the high street for a bite to eat or an afternoon shop.

It central location might also attract occupants of neighbouring towns and villages lacking in exercise facilities, or community sports teams looking to hold competitions.

Alternative nightclub

Every Friday and Saturday evening, Atik becomes one of the most populated nightspots in Colchester. With its eclectic blend of commercial chart and dance anthems and R&B music, its appeal is unrivalled.

But clubbers with a taste for indie or alternative soundtracks, often head to the slightly cramped, but always brilliant, dance floors of V-Bar and Twisters.

A sizeable nightclub blasting out everything from Blur to the Sex Pistols, however, might appeal to those looking for a slightly less intimate venue in which to enjoy the best guitar anthems.

Undercover market

The space occupied by the abandoned cinema could be used as an undercover market.

The lack of vehicle access could prove a problem for market traders, but the sheltered stalls and produce would make for a more winter-friendly experience for traders and shoppers alike.

Got your own ideas for what Crouch Street’s former Odeon cinema could be? Email