Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Restoration work begins on The Odyssey cinema after £1.2m is offered by local Angel investors

Edited version of press release issued on 23 May 2012

Four local Angel investors have invested a total of £1.2million in loans. Names have not yet been released but they consist of passionate supporters of the work of The Rex and The Odyssey.

Over the past two years, the team have spoken and negotiated with seven banks and a handful of venture capitalists with the aim of raising enough finance to turn The Odyssey back into a working cinema. In April, one financial services organisation got closer to lending the necessary money than any of the other banks, including those publicly owned. However, one thing led to another, terms were found to be unmanageable, and later that day, the answer returned to ‘No’.

James Hannaway says “By 9.45 on the 1st May, the word ‘Yes’ came from one man, whom, along with his family, agreed to step in to the bank’s pockets, without a second thought. After two solid years (almost to the day) of endless talks, emails, meetings, tasks and questions answered, re-answered and repeated, it was all over in two days! Suddenly every hoop and tedious question seemed worth it. A virtual repeat of how the Rex was won. One odyssey over; the best to come.”

The team will start rebuilding the Odyssey from the inside. Quietly, much of the work to satisfy the fire brigade’s and Council’s prohibition notice last September (which halted the Grease event and following Open Sunday) has been completed, and all four screen pits have been demolished and removed. Nevertheless, money is still tight. The quantity survey confirms a finished price of around £1.6m. 

With the new investment, The Odyssey hopes to show its first film at the beginning of 2014.

For anyone wanting to provide financial support, loans and equity are now closed - this year will be your last chance to buy an ABL, sponsor a seat and/or other parts of the building listed on the website. Advanced Booking Lists (ABL) are still available. To purchase any of these go to the website and/or send an email with your request to

Supporters and interested parties can sign up to our mailing list at to be kept up to date with the latest news and opportunities to get involved. On the site, you can also find contact details.

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