We reached capacity over the weekend (12th Oct). Well done to all those who made it in time and a very big thanks to those who committed their £285 at the beginning and over the last three years. We only need other individuals to name the rest of the seats and we’re almost home and dry.
In the meantime work hurries along at a great pace.
Precious things, flimsy pieces of paper long forgotten. Heart-stopping programmes from the then (not long opened) Capitol dated 1934. Then a Christmas card from Chesham council to a soldier, home from the front, and off to the pictures. They were all found in a gap in a wall in the foyer. A tiny glimpse of history from our own streets. Into the stark reality of the present, though the colour of Butch and Sundance’s tenner matches the priceless treasures found in a crack in a wall.
We are in the last throes of our tenner Prize-Draw application to the Gambling Commission. They’re very supportive but can’t say yes until all the paperwork has cleared. It’s proper channels, I’m afraid, which I’m getting used to, but they haven’t knocked the stuffing out of us yet. Nor will they. So keep an eye out for our Prize Draw. If and when we get permission – you’ll know.
It has been a long journey, longer than any of us anticipated, therefore well and truly earning its title: The Odyssey. We are now in the final months of completing the restoration work after painstaking planning, fund-gathering, bruising delays and spending on early unbudgeted surprises. The team behind it has stayed together through thick and wafer thin, and we’re all still here, in one piece and miraculously still talking to each other.
After the Rex, this second restoration in St Albans should have been easy, but quite the contrary. Therefore it is no less a miracle that you, the people of St Albans, Harpenden and surrounding towns and villages have stuck with us over the long three years since April 2010, without a murmer of dissent (at least none that I have heard, even when invited!). Your act of solidarity, support, quiet optimism and huge encouragement when you’re in the Rex foyer, has been the driving force behind my personal determination to see it finished.
Now I return to stretch your patience and goodwill again, by announcing that not only are we considerably over our original budget, but I am inviting you to invest further to close the gap. As you will see when you pass the building, major phase-one structural work is well underway, and we remain on track for a Spring opening next year. But we need to raise these final funds. So in addition to Seats and ABLs there are three new investment offers available and OPEN TO ALL (details below ) There might be something for you…?
We have come a long way and the last mile home has the finishing line in sight.
In addition we are planning a prize draw before Christmas. At £10 a ticket we hope to raise a fair amount towards funding the last phase of the restoration – a finished working cinema.
But we need legal permission. Therefore we have applied to the Gambling Commission. It will take up to six weeks and the outcome is uncertain.
If we get approval, look out for this Butch and Sundance ten pound ticket, on sale everywhere from October. In the meantime, keep heart and you’ll be walking through that beautiful revolving door just as the sun comes out again…
HOW TO INVEST OR CONTRIBUTE?
We propose to continue to raise money within the original five categories, which are Advance Booking List (ABL), Chair (and other) sponsorships, Donations (from benefactors and patrons), Loans and Investments.
(This category is included by request)
All donations are welcome, however small, we have raised just under £34,000 so far from donations, but please do not give us money you cannot afford. We are not a charity. It is a business, albeit not driven by profit. If it works it will make one. It is a limited company and a business all the same.
Ordinary Loan Stock
New 7.5 year loan stock is now available.
This issue of fixed term unsecured loan stock will be dated from the date the cinema opens & will accrue interest at an equivalent rate of 4.75% gross per annum compounded annually and payable at redemption.
Please note that both the 5 year & 10 year loan stock options offered previously are fully subscribed.
Should the project generate more cash than our initial forecast, the Loan Stock may be repaid early at the management’s discretion.
The loan investment is in multiples of £1,000 for payment now.
You will receive a loan stock certificate and interest payments added will be subject to income tax.
New 7.5 year zero dividend preference shares are now available.
Similar to loan stock, fixed term zero dividend preference shares offer a fixed rate of capital gain at maturity and preference over ordinary shareholders in the event of the Company being wound up at any time.
This issue of fixed term shares will be dated from the date the cinema opens and will accrue interest at an equivalent rate of 4.75% gross per annum compounded annually & payable at redemption.
Please note that both the 5 year and 10 year preference share options offered previously are fully subscribed.
Should the project generate more cash than our initial forecast, the Preference Shares may be repaid early at the management’s discretion.
The loan investment is in multiples of £1,000 for payment now.
You will receive a Share certificate. Please be aware: Capital Gains Tax rules apply and “gains” in excess of your personal CGT allowance will be taxable at the rate applicable at maturity.
Having raised £300,000 through the sale of £500 non voting shares (representing 10% of the Company’s equity) in the first round, we are now offering the opportunity to invest in a further 10% through the issue of newly created non voting shares.
As before, Ordinary Shares are being sold in £500 increments.
The cinema is a Private Limited Company, which is overseeing the initial development and the eventual running of the cinema.
As it is necessary to safeguard the management structure and the essence of the philosophy behind The Rex, ordinary shareholders’ opinions will be welcome and considered but these shares will carry no voting rights.
As in previous rounds we will apply for EIS status for this ordinary share issue, which means that investors in ordinary shares may attract some income tax relief, and exemption from Capital Gains Tax. Whilst nobody should be making an investment in The Odyssey purely for tax reasons, the necessary details about how to claim this relief will be issued to all ordinary shareholders.
Which investment route is right for you will depend upon a number of factors, and we recommend that any decision you make is with
the assistance of a financial adviser. Needless to say we are not in a position to provide advice but we will be very happy to help you in any way we can.
WHAT IF THINGS GO WRONG?
Having purchased the site and commenced refurbishment, a future failure to raise the money may result in the site being sold and money from the sale allocated in accordance with the following priorities:
l The administrative costs in selling the property and then winding the company up.
l Secured borrowing arrangements will take precedence over other creditors.
l Payment of Creditors (including HMRC) which will include those with unfilled Advance Memberships, unfulfilled Seat Sponsorships and Unsecured Loan Stock.
l Zero Dividend Preference Shares.
l Ordinary Shares
If the project completes but then fails for any reason, the priorities will be similar except that the ABL and chair/other sponsorships will simply lapse and there will be no return.
After much trial and error, we have finally managed to work out how to add Paypal buttons to the Odyssey website! This is largely in response to comments that it was too difficult to give us money, which, of course, nobody wants.
If you have a Paypal account, you can now purchase everything from ABL memberships, to Digital Projection sponsorships directly from the site, simply by clicking on the ‘BUY’ buttons on the Support Us page. The two most popular (ABL memberships and seat sponsorships) can also be found at the side of our homepage.
So there’s no longer any excuse – why not get your Christmas shopping early, in advance of The Odyssey’s Grand Opening in Spring 2014!
Happy shopping. x
It’s all happening! James Hannaway was interviewed by BBC News 24 regarding the restoration of The Odyssey. Watch it by clicking on the above link! and keep your photos of the scaffolding coming in to us on Facebook. Have a lovely weekend!
The long-awaited scaffolding is now going up on the outside of The Odyssey! evidence indeed that the cinema is truly undergoing its transformation. Photos to come v soon, so watch this space. ABLs and sponsorships still available. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase.
Proper building work began at the Odyssey on 13th May under the steady eye of Procare. The second phase of construction after the summer will restore it to its Odeon shell, ready for phase three in the new year to bring it up to greater than its former glory as the Odyssey; ready for opening in the Spring next year.
Look out for a banner going up on the scaffolding, telling you what funding is left to find. Now is a good time for sponsors to come and talk to us.
We still have Advanced Booking Lists (ABLs) available at £285 (one year) £2000, (5 years, includes chair sponsorship).
What you get for your ABL
• A confirmed listing posted first class or emailed to you monthly.
• At least one week’s priority booking, ahead of general release (see queue above).
• £1.50 off your ticket. (except for ‘royal boxes’).
• Up to six seats per show, including your own. (Five at usual prices).
• Up to half the House. No titles will be sold beyond half capacity (225 seats). This sees to it that nothing sells out before general release.
FINAL WORD ON SPONSORSHIP
Talk to us about how you and/or your company can benefit and how we can help tailor a package to your needs. We are open to your own ideas and suggestions, including corporate events at The Odyssey.
I am very pleased to tell you it is all going ahead, with the cinema doors expected to open in the Spring of next year.
We finally raised our £1.2m in June last year (against a budget of £1.6m – with the already anticipated £400,000 to be raised once building work had begun). Without delay we appointed our project management team: Robert Martell & Partners (Berkhamsted). With them on board, design and strategy work began in the autumn.
SADC (St.Albans District Council) planning consent was fully approved as late as March and the design drawings, after painstaking and much detailed work, have turned out to be fabulous.
After a cocktail of the usual and extraordinary delays – phase one; to re-roof, secure the building and begin first external works, is due to begin within weeks.
It is at this exciting stage, as promised, I can come back to you and bring you up to date with the restoration and our local sponsorship plans.
As with all the best (and worst) films, the budget has ‘changed’. Finally, the true budget is £2m.
So we need to raise £800,000. It’s only double after all…!
To this end, we are putting the finishing touches to a sponsorship package, which you will receive very soon, inviting you, companies and private individuals, to sponsor any and every part of the building and the future programme of films from across the world.
So prepare your inbox…! And keep an eye on the website, facebook and all that other stuff.
In the meantime, we’ll keep you ‘in the loop’ here.
As always a million (literally) thanks
All the very best