Ipswich: New attempt to find use for former Odeon cinema as it goes up for sale with £1m price tag

The former Odeon building in Ipswich

The former Odeon building in Ipswich

Another attempt is being made to find a new use for the former Odeon Cinema on Major’s Corner in Ipswich which has been empty for the last eight years.

The five-screen cinema, which opened in 1991, closed its doors for the last time in August 2005 – unable to cope with the competition from the 11-screen Cineworld multiplex on Cardinal Park.

Since then it has been owned by several owners, and before the recession hit there were proposals to turn it into a leisure complex with a sports bar, night club and family restaurant – but that scheme founded in the wake of police objections and the change in the economic climate.

Now property agents Savills are hoping to sell the building for somewhere in the region of £1 million to bring it back into use.

Savills has been instructed by Premier Leisure (Suffolk) to market it with a guide price of £1 million.

Chris Moody from Savills said the fabric of the building was still in a very good condition.

The seats had been removed and there had been some changes so it now has four screening rooms – but there were many possibilities for the building.

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He said: “It could be used as a block of lecture theatres for the college or university, it could be a large place of worship.

“There there are other entertainment uses that would be good – there could be a link-up with the Regent next door which has recently had a refurbishment. There are many possibilities.

“This is a unique opportunity to acquire a major property with the potential of a variety of alternative uses.

“Planning has already been granted for change of use to a nightclub, tenpin bowling, restaurant, amusements, sports bar and music rooms. As a result we anticipate a high volume of interest.”

The Odeon was built as part of a complex land-swap that allowed the borough to take over the old cinema and convert it into the Regent Theatre. As part of that NCP took over the Cox Lane car park.

What would you like to see happen to the former Odeon? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk