Future of Odeon remains a mystery

IPSWICH'S Odeon cinema is to close on Sunday evening – but the future of the building and its site remains a mystery.When Odeon bosses announced the closure of the five-screen cinema last month, they said the site had been sold to an unnamed local property developer.

IPSWICH'S Odeon cinema is to close on Sunday evening – but the future of the building and its site remains a mystery.

When Odeon bosses announced the closure of the five-screen cinema last month, they said the site had been sold to an unnamed local property developer.

However planning officials at Ipswich Council have no idea what is proposed for the Major's Corner site – and have no clue about who is due to buy the site from the cinema chain.

Head of Planning Mike Smith said: "We have had no contact from the Odeon or anyone else about the site, which is rather surprising because you would normally expect a potential purchaser to contact the local authority to find out what would be possible on the site."

Major's Corner is a very busy junction between St Margaret's Street and Woodbridge Road – and the site itself is very small.

There have been rumours that the building could be turned into a large nightclub – but such a change of use would require planning consent and that could be a lengthy process.

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The private car park between the cinema and the Regent Theatre is owned by the borough council and any development of the site would need access to that land.

The cinema opened in 1991 as part of a complex land swap deal, which saw the council taking over the Regent and NCP taking over the Cox Lane car park.

Its distinctive style has been a feature of the Ipswich skyline for 14 years – and has divided opinion between people who love it and hate it.

Odeon cinemas decided to close the complex because they could no longer compete with the 11-screen UGC cinema – now called Cineworld – on Cardinal Park.

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