World Cup kicks at the flicks

Football fans who cannot make it to the World Cup finals in Germany can get the next best thing by watching all England's games on the cinema screen.While cinemagoers might be more used to watching blockbusters starring Hollywood hotshots, it will be the likes of David Beckham and Michael Owen pulling in the punters in the city's Odeon cinema next month.

Football fans who cannot make it to the World Cup finals in Germany can get the next best thing by watching all England's games on the cinema screen.

While cinemagoers might be more used to watching blockbusters starring Hollywood hotshots, it will be the likes of David Beckham and Michael Owen pulling in the punters in the city's Odeon cinema next month.

The cinema, in Riverside, will screen every one of England's games in its new High Definition Television format.

HDTV is the latest technological step in screening broadcasts and Norwich's Odeon is one of 14 cinemas across the country to show the games.


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The games will be beamed in HDTV by broadcasters Euro1080, using the latest technology to give improved picture and sound quality.

The cinema plans to show all games in which England are involved, as well as the quarter and semi-final matches, third place play-offs and the final, meaning at least 11 matches will be screened throughout the tournament.

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Prices for Norwich are £6 adults and £4.20 concessions.

But enjoying the England clashes on the big screen does come with a catch - no alcohol will be served.

If you cannot make it to the cinema, the Forum Trust, which manages the Forum, has arranged to show two quarter finals on a big screen in the city.

Mark Hand, the Trust's marketing manager, said the BBC big screen would be outside the Forum on Friday, June 30.

He said: “The BBC is taking the screen to as many places across the country as it can for a day, and our day is on June 30.

“We will get two games, one at 4pm and one at 8pm, but obviously at this stage we don't know if England will be playing on that day.”

A city council spokeswoman said it had no plans to show any matches on a big screen, and neither has the Hollywood cinema at Anglia Square or Vue cinema at the Castle Mall.

The World Cup coverage is the Odeon's latest venture into HDTV. It has previously held live screenings of concerts by the likes of Robbie Williams and Elton John.

Luke Vetere, marketing director at Odeon, said: “At Odeon we are fascinated by new technology and as market leaders, we strive to offer cinema-goers the highest quality audio and visual experience currently available.”

The World Cup starts on June 9. England play Paraguay on June 10, Trinidad and Tobago on June 15, and Sweden on June 20.

Tickets for the cinema can be purchased in advance at www.odeon.co.uk or 0871 22 44 007.

Do you have a World Cup story? Have you made a huge sacrifice to head for Germany? Telephone Evening News reporter David Bale on (01603) 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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