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Stafford Cinema fails to sell at auction months after being saved

By Dayna Farrington | Stafford | News | Published:

The building which houses Stafford's independent cinema failed to sell at auction.

Stafford Cinema, Newport Road, Stafford, when it reopened

The freehold of Stafford Cinema was up for sale by auctioneers Acuitus in London on Wednesday.

It had been listed for a guide price of £350,000.

Stafford Borough Council had previously said the site could potentially be transformed into a multi-storey development with shops on the ground floor and homes above.

The historic venue reopened in October, eight months after it closed having been saved the first round by AJH Cinema in April 2018.

The three-screen cinema, in Newport Road, had been left with an uncertain future when it first closed at the end of 2017.

The cinema is just yards away from the new £6.5 million Odeon Luxe complex in Bridge Street, which opened in November 2018.

Cinema tenancy holder Sam Lavington previously said he was “hopeful” the 1930s cinema would remain open but that he could not keep up the financial costs alone.

Mr Lavington has the lease until October 2022.

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Last month he said: “We are setting up the business of Stafford Cinema as The Cinema Heritage Trust.

"The cinema name will remain the same. Our aim is to save this wonderful building and purchase it for the people of Stafford. I alone cannot keep up the financial costs much longer.”

Since reopening in October the 1930s building has undergone a refurbishment programme.

Frances Beatty, cabinet member for economic development and planning, said when the auction was announced: “This is a prominent site in Stafford and we would like to see the cinema building utilised quickly – and it would be good to see a leisure offer sitting alongside any proposed residential scheme which will be of benefit to our community. ”

The auction took place at The Montcalm Hotel, London.

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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