The Odeon Cinema in the centre of Banbury in Oxfordshire is up for sale with a price tag above £2 million, according to White Commercial, who is marketing this as a rare leisure investment opportunity.
The property comprising 15,000 sq ft, a significant landmark opposite the famous Lady on a White Horse at Banbury Cross, is let to ABC Cinemas Limited, guaranteed by Odeon Cinemas Limited at a current rent of £167,781.52 per annum exclusive, with annual rental increases in line with Retail Price Index until 04 April 2032.
The building, originally ‘The Regal Cinema’, was designed by architects A.P. Starkey and Frederick Adkins and opened in October 1940 with Ralph Richardson in “The Four Feathers”.
The four-storey facade was built of local yellow stone with seating provided for 897 in stalls and circle levels. By 1946, the cinema was operated by S.M. Super Cinemas Ltd, taken over by the Essoldo chain in 1954 and The Classic Cinemas chain in 1972, and screening “The Godfather” and “Endless Night”.
The Classic was re-named Cannon in 1986 when the Cannon Group took control of Classic Cinemas, and in 1996, the cinema became the ABC, with Odeon Theatres taking over in October 2001. Seating is provided for 422 people (+4 wheelchair spaces) in screen 1 and 225 in screen 2. The cinema closed on 05 June 2023.
White Commercial is offering the property for sale as an investment and considers that the site has future development potential, subject to planning. The current owners are looking to sell the cinema at a price above £2 million based on the current rent, which is set to increase annually until 2032.
Chris White, Managing Director of White Commercial, said: “We are expecting a high level of demand in the Odeon, a landmark building in the centre of Banbury, from both Investors and developers able to maximise the potential of this excellent site.
“Banbury and the Oxfordshire region have seen gargantuan changes since 1940, none greater than the development of the London to Birmingham M40 which signified, in the 1990s, the rapid development and expansion of the region.”