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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.

The Orwell Bridge is expected to close for the third time this winter as high winds are forecast again on Wednesday night.

A mentally-ill Bury St Edmunds man accused of killing a 57-year-old man by stabbing him multiple times has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Essex Wildlife Trust has responded to reports that a black panther has been sighted in a rural village in the county.

Suffolk Day will take place on Thursday, June 21, this year - we asked people in Ipswich their favourite thing about Suffolk.

Feeling safe on the streets, career prospects and retirement plans are among the top concerns for women in Suffolk and Essex, a survey reveals.

Proposals to build a new multi-million pound rail depot on the Suffolk/Essex border at Brantham near Manningtree are being reconsidered by Greater Anglia.

A crash between a van and a car this morning has closed a rural Suffolk road.

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