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Magic of the movies

Date online: 24 March 2014

EUROPE’S largest cinema operator is to run the new cinema in Oldham’s old town hall.

Following months of talks, the council and Odeon Cinemas have agreed plans to transform the derelict, Grade II-listed building into a new, 805-seat family complex with seven screens, six restaurants and a cafe franchise.

Council chiefs say the development will restore the building as a “civic jewel” and turn it into a first-class entertainment venue. The plan will sympathetically conserve as much of the existing building as possible, while adding a modern “light box” extension.

There will also be a new public square alongside the building, with restaurants and in which arts and cultural events will be staged.

Oldham Council leader Councillor Jim McMahon said: “This is box office news for us in every respect — and a real coup for Oldham.

“Odeon is the largest cinema operator in the UK, so we were absolutely determined to get them on-board. Their commitment to us is a huge vote of confidence in our plans.

“Oldham has lacked a cinema and family entertainment venue for far too long and this is brilliant news for residents, businesses and visitors alike.

Roger Harris, Odeon’s chief operating officer, said: “We have been delighted to work with Oldham Council to achieve an attractive and innovative cinema design.”

Initial work on the building continues, in preparation for the start of major works later in the year.


Looking forward to how the 'moaners' will spin this into a negative. Going to require a little more creative flair than normal but I'm sure they won't fail me.

Good news, I will use the cinema and the restaurants and cafe, if they are any good. However, how is this development going to affect existing restaurants and cafes?
How much is this costing, breakdown of who is paying for the development and are Odeon paying the council full rates once it is built would be nice.
Personally I think the council has offered them the heaven and earth to get them to come to Oldham.

Yep, good news for the town, but how about incorporating an M&S into the plans ! ! !

About time!! Be lovely to have a better variety of restaurants in Oldham.

Let's hope the 2 ornate chimneys remain untouched & why was the 1st job of the workers to remove all the yorkstone flags & granite kerbstone are these to be replaced also was all the ornate furniture removed in storage or was it sold and I hope at least the staircase and at least 1 room remain untouched Egyptian rooms is favourite but then again I doubt it why would one remove a solid base ie flags then scaffold on soil

Remember when Odeon had a cinema less than 500yds away and they pulled out of Oldham... What goes around comes around.. As for paying rates does it matter, the council only get 5% of all business rates. The 95% goes to central Government so I expect the council to have let them off a few years. It is win win win win for Odeon because they did not have to pay for the building coasts.. We Did..

Business rates are collected by the Council and sent to central government , therefore no 'deals' can be done on that score.

haha...not a bad start from some but I think you can do better, really draw on your own personal inadequacies and have another go.

As one who fondly recalls the Odeon cinema that was situated on Union Street (if I'm correct, where the Link Centre now stands), I'm thrilled to hear of their return. This is the shot-in-the-arm that Oldham desperately needed.

brill news,can now start saving for my popcorn

Good news! But from the looks of the first image, they will have to demolish half of Yorkshire Street to fit it in.

All I can say IS , It will be lovely to get a kebab in the town centre, without passing the fighting on Yorkshire street, Will parking be free to entice people to use it?

WELL DONE!! Credit where credit is due. I for one will use it. Just need to get some decent resturants in the town centre.

This is a landlord tenant arrangement, a business franchise deal not a coup and be under no doubt many financial assurances will have had to be agreed. The last Old Town Hall costing estimate including grounds was £30,000,000 the council is developer and the risk is on them and future council budgets. The Council have refused to disclose any breakdown of the funding, loans & repayment schedules. FYI: since April 2013 new business rates are split 50:50 between central & local government.

Pessimist. If this gets the people of Oldham the cinema they want, I don't care.


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