Express & Star

Odeon to take on brand new six-screen cinema at Stafford's Riverside development

Odeon will open a new six-screen cinema at Stafford's £70 million Riverside complex, it has been announced.


Developers LXB Retail Properties revealed the name of the cinema giant yesterday as well as a raft of new restaurants coming to the area including Chiquito, Nando's, Prezzo and Coal Grill and Bar.

The site for the new cinema is now cleared and building work is expected to start in May. It is anticipated the curtain will raise on the 800-seat venue by Spring next year.

Odeon, owned by Terra Firma, is the largest cinema chain in the UK with more than 110 venues throughout Britain.

Its arrival in Stafford has been seen has a major boost to the town's redevelopment project.

Carl Barrand, from LXP, confirmed the agreement was struck on Friday. He said: "We have been in negotiation with Odeon for quite a long time. The whole project always takes longer than envisaged but Odeon have always been very keen.

"We will also have a great line-up of restaurants alongside the cinema now.

"I think the cinema will finish off the scheme extremely well. It is what people want. It will be a hybrid development offering both retail and leisure which will encourage people back into Stafford.

"We have had a lot of positive feedback so far. People are saying what we have done fits in very well."

The cinema will transform the old Express & Star office, Chicago Rock Cafe and Love 2 nightclub on Bridge Street with the front entrance looking out on to the Rover Sow.

The scale of the venue has changed since the original plans when it was earmarked as a five-screen 700 seat cinema although LXB stated this was down to the internal layout assuring the size of the building remained the same.

Ian Thompson, chief executive of Stafford Borough Council, said: "The announcement by LXB of an operator for the new cinema is the final piece in the jigsaw of this exciting retail and leisure development in the centre of Stafford.

"We expect construction work could get under way on the cinema early next month. The multi-storey car park is already opened and the retail complex on Riverside is nearing completion, with the first outlets expected to be up and running in August."

An Odeon spokesman said: "We're very excited to confirm that we will be bringing the fantastic experience of ODEON Cinemas to Stafford! Whilst there are still of a number of details to be finalised, we can confirm we will opening with six cutting-edge screens full of the latest and best entertainment for film fans to enjoy – as well as a whole host of food & drink options. We'll be sharing more info as we get closer to launch. Watch this space."

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