St Albans cinema dream edges closer

PUBLISHED: 07:01 11 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:53 06 May 2010

A LATE flood of donations for the purchase of the St Albans Odeon has brought the scheme one step closer to fruition. Cinema entrepreneur James Hannaway now has £620,000 needed towards the £1 million target which will secure the purchase of the art deco i

A LATE flood of donations for the purchase of the St Albans Odeon has brought the scheme one step closer to fruition.

Cinema entrepreneur James Hannaway now has £620,000 needed towards the £1 million target which will secure the purchase of the art deco in London Road.

The site's present owners have now been asked to grant a further extension to the current deadline of next Monday.

Although Mr Hannaway is still only two-thirds towards the £1million purchase price, he remains confident that if everyone else honours their paper pledges then his plan to buy the cinema can still happen.

"We also have firm commitments for a further £550,000 which takes us over the £1 million we need to secure the site.

"The current owner gave us until February 8 to commit to this. We have gone over his deadline.

"However, in view of the fact that local money is pouring in, he has agreed more time."

Mr Hannaway, who previously restored the fortunes of The Rex Cinema in Berkhamsted, said: "What is important is there is no new deadline just extra time, which can be legitimately withdrawn at any time.

"Therefore, if we can keep this up, it will give us just enough time to turn those early promises and pledges into cash to secure the site for St Albans."

Mr Hannaway, who wants to rename the cinema the Alpha, pledged that if the bid to buy the old Odeon failed, all the donated money would be returned in full.

Cheques should be made payable to The Alpha Cinema Ltd/The Alpha St Albans Ltd, and to The Alpha St Albans, The Rex Cinema, Three Close Lane, High Street, Berkhamsted HP4 2FG.


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