University is now the new owner of Coventrys historic Odeon Cinema, after
successfully concluding negotiations with former owners Rank.
The distinctive dome and facade of the 67-year-old building in
Jordan Well, which adjoins the Universitys main campus, will be retained and the
retail premises based within the building will also stay.
The University will transform the building into a state-of-the-art facility for its
performing arts students studying music, drama and dance, and who are currently based on a
site a Bishop Ullathorne School, Leasowes Avenue.
"We have long wanted to bring our performing arts students onto the main campus to
centralise our arts provision, where they will join our Communication, Culture and Media
students who will also be based in the new facility. The purchase of the Odeon is the
ideal solution for us,"
said Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Norman Bellamy, who has led the projects
development for the University.
"We will create a vibrant focal point for the performing arts, incorporating the
latest lighting and sound equipment and a purpose-built stage which will be used to stage
public performances of the students work. However, this development will not just be
an asset to the University but will also be a cultural resource for the City, enhancing
and revitalising this part of the City Centre, and providing a new lease of life for one
of Coventrys landmark buildings", added Professor Bellamy.
News of a major grant from the Higher Education Funding Council that will assist the
University with the transformation and refurbishment work is expected within the next few
The Odeon will close as a cinema in October, with Rank transferring its cinema business
to the new LeisureWorld development in Spon Street, Coventry. It is hoped that work on the
transformation of the building will begin soon after.