Odeon in U-turn over ban on men at screening of Charedi film


The Odeon group has said it will not refuse entry to men to a film being screened as part of the London Israeli Film Festival.

Israeli Charedi film-maker Rechy Elias said she did not want men to see her historical romance, Gift of Fire.

Venues JW3 and the Odeon cinema in Swiss Cottage had agreed to a “female only audience” despite complaints from men who have requested to see the film.

But, Odeon said on Wednesday that they would lift the restriction.

A spokesman said: “We offer a wide range of films throughout the year for all our guests to enjoy. We do not, and will not, restrict entry to any film based on gender.

We only restrict entry to our screenings based on age – as laid out in legislation around BBFC ratings."

In a defiant move, festival organisers responded to the Odeon statement by saying they “will stand outside the cinema and stop men from going in if we have to."

Odelia Haroush the festival co-founder said: “We speak to the general manger every three days and he tells us if men have bought tickets.

“We will ask any men on the day to leave and offer them something else to see. If they don’t we will pull the whole screening all together.”

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