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

The former Ipswich Odeon is up for sale with Savills The former Ipswich Odeon is up for sale with Savills

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
6:00 AM

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.

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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.

30 comments

  • Firstly, shame on all the racist bigots who have commented shockingly on here about immigrants. It's you lot that we don't need in this town, so please stop tainting the rest of us with your poison. Secondly, this could be an opportunity for the Corn Exchange Entertainment complex to be moved to the old Odeon and build some shared backstage facilities between it and the Regent which is woeful in that regard. It might even be attractive enough to get a long term private operator that would invest, and yes give a boost to the music scene - its close to the uni too.. This would free up the Corn Exchange to become a superb indoor fruit, veg and flower market which would leave the Cornhill available for a fantastic open space with outdoor cafes and bars, thereby regenerating the centre of town as well as the Majors Corner area.

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    David C

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Turn it into a traffic light factory. It'd make a fortune on local sales alone! ;-)

    Report this comment

    kevinwj

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Council buy it, open it as 'Regent 2' or whatever, put the bands back on like when Ippo' was in the circuit, and everyones a winner. Just dont let the person who books the Regent acts get their hands on it!!!

    Report this comment

    Mike Derruki

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Ipswich needs a live music venue on par with Norwich's UEA & Waterfront, nothing stopping this becoming a venue and a nightclub..? It'd bring hundreds of people to a completely dead side of town and even draw people in from places like Colchester..

    Report this comment

    Karl Studd

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • The Odeon could provide a cheaper alternative to megabucks cineworld. If it was able to agree licenses to screen older movies, right from the early 1920's to the beginning of the new millennium, i think people would use it. I agree it isn't the best looking building at all, but i think parents might like the chance to take their children to see the films of their gerneation at a much more competetive rate! Perhaps re-styl the interior and base it around the first cinemas in existance. This town doesn't need another night club, this town needs something different to attract more people to want to come to our town! the sad likelihood is that it will probably be turned into another pound shop, great!

    Report this comment

    UTWoz

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Chris Church - I agree. It's time and use has been served.

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • @esco the Mill isn't being maintained though as it's just an empty shell that's been sat in administration. It has a new owner who will likely clean it up and will be responsible for it's maintenance. Ditto the Odeon it won't have seen any maintenance or repairs for 10 years so of course it will look tatty

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • That building has MASSIVE potential to bring the Ipswich music scene off its knees, However its right next door to the Regent which is Council owned so wont be used in competition for the Regent which is a shame.

    Report this comment

    Livemusic

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Just selling it again does not ensure anything else will happen.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Tedbundy

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • I remember going to the Odeon before Virgin opened. It was never a particularly great cinema. The seats were uncomfortable and I always (and I mean always) got static shocks off the rails going up and down the stairs (some sort of bad buildingdecorating or something). The best part was the fact you could pick up movie posters for nothing. I had my bedroom wall covered in various posters (I remember a lot of Mars Attacks posters). When the Virgin cinema opened I started going there, not because it was cheaper, just because it was a better setup and comfier. The £15 and £25 unlimited passes helped (anyone else remember those?). This is a site that long ago should have been leveled. It was a good place at the time but the rest of the town has developed since then and it's no longer a goo place for a cinema to be. I don't even think a leisure center of any kind would work there either. A bit dangerous with all the traffic now. Lay it to rest, level it, use the area as a temporary car park or something. And for the record I always thought it looked like the top of a submarine sticking up through the concrete! ;)

    Report this comment

    Chris Church

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Level it, as someone sated earlier it make a great music venue (just look at the Junction in Cambridge) but will never happen due to the regent next door, so with that in mind, just level it and have it as a car park for the regent.

    Report this comment

    Tedbundy

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Tedbundy

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • PC - Far too small a space for that...

    Report this comment

    Tedbundy

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Create a leisure complex with barrestaurantbowling etc.?? Erm Bears bowling that has just opened on the one way system?? Cutting edge journalism...

    Report this comment

    Tedbundy

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Knock it down and build a big roundabout WITH LIGHTS of course

    Report this comment

    m01

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • knock it down, that would be wishful thinking.It will no doubt become a mosque or place of worship for our minority population.

    Report this comment

    Rory Breaker

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • There isn't ample parking despite three car parks within short walking distance of it Who worked that one out?

    Report this comment

    bconnelly55

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Most uses outside a nightclub would need parking so knocking it down just seems the better idea. Could IBC buy it up and join it together with the Regent site?... It could create some extra carparking in the short term whilst they could look to build something to complement the Regent in the site (including caparking) an extension, bar and restaurant, hotel?

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • another unaffordable cimema?? Great.

    Report this comment

    Chubby26

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • The last thing Ipswich needs is yet another car park. You have two park and rides, you have the local buses, so who needs to park a car in town? In Colchester we are campaigning to save our ex-Odeon. You Ipswich people should try and save yours.

    Report this comment

    Boris

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • In disagreement with many here, I think it is a great looking building with an Art Deco look. But I do agree that many modern building are not going to last long; bits are already falling off some down at the waterfront. It is a rather difficult junction for the site to be used as a car park. Perhaps it could accommodate more than one use, say as a restaurant and a music club. If it sells at the right price then someone will find a viable use. People who say it is in the wrong place for these uses should realise that the Regent is next door and attracts big audiences. People know how to cross a road!

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Demolish it and turn it back to a car park for the Regent and town. Whoever buys it will easily make their money back the price they can charge for parking in Ipswich. Alternatively how about knocking it down and moving the market there.

    Report this comment

    royg

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • If it could not compete as a cinema before how will it do so now in such an unattractive location. Knock it down and use the space to use one of the bottlenecks in the Ipswich travel network. It's an ugly and weather-stained building that just looks like an upturned tin bath. Why on Earth do builders clad new buildings in these materials that look nice and shiny when new but quickly discolour. Look at the sides of The Mill now it's no longer white. It is starting to look hideous with weather discolourisation, as will all the waterfront buildings over a period of time.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Ridiculous place to have a cinema in the first place in the middle of the busiest of the town centres roads ! Knocking it down would be a result as its an eyesore . We don't want another Cinema in Ipswich , i cannot think what to do with it .

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • There's a fair few comments on here about demolishing the Odeon and turning the land into a car park. Now that would be ironic if that happened because I remember the construction of the Odeon in 19901 and it was built on top of a car park and if I recall correctly people weren't too happy about losing that car park back then.

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    Andrew Berry

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • I say to keep it as a cinema at a cheap price and it in a primary location as I always thought it was due to bus stops nearby and its not far from tower ramparts bus station. I remember just getting off the bus and crossing the road just to go there. Hope something useful does become of it and don't want another car park there really, not a prime location for one.

    Report this comment

    Jay Bamber

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • That building has MASSIVE potential to bring the Ipswich music scene off its knees, However its right next door to the Regent which is Council owned so wont be used in competition for the Regent which is a shame.

    Report this comment

    Livemusic

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • @UTwoz - the Vue cinema is it comes will provide better compeyition and more deals and it benefits from being new and having carparking which is why Cineworld killed off the odeon on the first place

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Use it to house all the immigrants.

    Report this comment

    PC Plod

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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