St Albans Cinema Dream A Step Closer

PUBLISHED: 15:26 15 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 May 2010

THE BIG screen dream for St Albans came a step closer this week as the cheques started to roll in. Since the bank account was set up just one week ago, more than £12,000 worth of cheques have been sent in to help buy the former Odeon cinema in London Road

THE BIG screen dream for St Albans came a step closer this week as the cheques started to roll in.

Since the bank account was set up just one week ago, more than £12,000 worth of cheques have been sent in to help buy the former Odeon cinema in London Road.

Cinema entrepreneur James Hannaway, the man behind the Odeon project, said: "There's a long way to go but the response has been more than positive. The serious investors who want to plough £50,000 and upwards into the scheme are also talking to us."

His plan to restore the Odeon - originally named The Alpha - to its former glory hinges upon his ability to find £3 million to fund the purchase and the refurbishment of the building.

At a recent public meeting held at the Rex Cinema in Berkhamsted, the first cinema he restored, he elicited paper promises amounting to more than 80 per cent of the £1 million needed to purchase the building alone.

He now has just over a month to raise the cash to complete the exchange of contracts on the building.

If that is achieved then he will need to raise a further £2 million to refurbish the building. The remainder is not so time-critical and can be raised over the next two years.

Mr Hannaway is asking for cheques only at this stage but arrangements are underway to be able to use other methods of payment shortly.

Cheques should be made payable to: The Alpha St Albans Ltd and sent to The Rex Cinema, High Street, Berkhamsted HP4 2FG and attached to expression of interest forms filled in by hundreds of people who attended last month's public meeting.

If you didn't attend the meeting but would like to fill in an "expression of interest" form you can access it on http://www.allaboutstalbans.net/cinema/odeon_form.aspx

If you complete the form online the website administrators will collect and collate the data for Mr Hannaway on a weekly basis to speed up the process.


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