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Poll: Former Odeon cinema could again show films as it goes up for auction at half original £1million asking price

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 January 2014

The former Ipswich Odeon is up for sale with Savills

The former Ipswich Odeon is up for sale with Savills

Archant

A town centre eyesore will have its asking price slashed when it goes up for auction next month – but could still be used for its original purpose.

The former Odeon cinema at the junction of St Margaret’s Street and Woodbridge Road was built in 1991 but closed in August 2005.

It had become unable to cope with the competition from what is now the Cineworld cinema on Cardinal Park and has lain empty ever since.

Despite several new owners and proposals to turn it into a leisure complex no one has yet been able to give the building a new lease of life.

In September last year current owners Premier Leisure (Suffolk) instructed property agents Savills to put the five-screen cinema on the market for £1million.
But as the building still hasn’t been sold it will instead be put up for auction next month.

And in an effort to shift the property the guide price has been cut to just £500,000.

Chris Moody, the agent at Savills tasked with selling the 29,900 square-foot property, said: “It’s just to bring it to a conclusion.

“In the interest of having closure an auction with a set date is the right way to go.

“We’ve had good interest for different uses from a variety of people.”

In terms of what potential new owners could do with the building, Mr Moody said those who had been to view it represented a range of companies.

“We’ve had a real variety, and that does include a cinema operator,” he added.

If the building was to return to use as a cinema however that could leave Ipswich swamped with four venues for film lovers.

One of its main competitors would be Cineworld, which has 11 screens, the capability to show Imax movies and is close to the town centre with ample car parking, something lacking at the Major’s Corner site now the Crown Street multi-story has been knocked down.

Then there is the two-screen Ipswich Film Theatre based right in the town centre, in the basement of the Corn Exchange on King Street.

Finally there is the proposed opening of a Vue cinema with nine screens in the Buttermarket shopping centre, although work on this was supposed to start in the middle of last year, take 12 months to complete and be open by summer this year.

The auction will be conducted by Savills at the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square on February 11.

A remarkable Colchester 10-year-girl was recognised for her bravery at a prestigious national awards ceremony on Monday night, supported by Prince Harry.

Hundreds got the chance to meet Cardinal Wolsey in the flesh at Christchurch Park in Ipswich at the weekend.

The Duchess of Cambridge put her morning sickness behind her when Paddington Bear asked her for a dance - and she revealed she was fleet of foot.

Lifesaving skills were taught to pupils at the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook today as part of Restart a Heart Day.

An appeal by developers to build 300 homes in Bell Lane, Kesgrave, has been dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate after it branded the controversial scheme as unsustainable.

Motorists in Ipswich are being warned to expect delays on one of the town centre’s key roads from next week – with work planned for four weeks.

Send in your photos of the red sun spotted in the sky over parts of Suffolk today, caused by Storm Ophelia.

Don’t get caught out, take a look at the major roadworks that will be taking place across the East of England this week.

The East Suffolk Partnership’s fifth annual forum at the Trinity Park Conference Centre on November 10 is fully booked to consider the theme “Unlocking the potential of growth in east Suffolk”.

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