Calling all film fans!


Radio Verulam is proud to host…An evening with Mark Kermode.

The UK’s most trusted and scathing (!) film reviewer asks: who needs the professionals now that everyone’s a critic?

Join us for an evening with the man himself, as he pit-stops in Hertfordshire to launch his new book, Hatchet Job: Love Movies, Hate Critics.

Listen as Mark takes us on a journey across the modern cinematic landscape, blending historical analysis with trenchant opinion, bitter personal prejudice and laugh-out-loud acerbic humour.

It’s the perfect book and evening for anyone who’s ever expressed an opinion about a movie.

The Rex’s James Hannaway and team will be there on the night to share with this film loving audience, the progress of the Odyssey, offering an introduction to the evening’s festivities.

There will be also be a book signing after the show as well as an opportunity to further support the Odyssey.
WHEN: Friday 2nd May 2014, 8.00pm

WHERE: Weston Auditorium, de Havilland Campus, University of Hertfordshire, AL10 9EU
TICKETS: Book + Ticket: £15.00 – 
Adult: £12.00 – 
Student: £5.00
Group booking available: Please call the box office for group discounts.

Call now to book your tickets: +44 (0)1707 281127
Or Book online:

All funds raised will go towards supporting our community radio station.

The Advanced Booking List (ABL) for the Odyssey is now closed.

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

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.

3 new investment offers . . . the last mile home . . .

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…



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.

Preference Shares

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.

 Ordinary Shares

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.


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.

St Albans Latest . . .

Working your way around these pictures, you will find a building boxed in by huge scaffolding, a spot of nimble (harnessed) acrobatics, the front render, stripped back to solid 81 years old bare brickwork (which way is it facing?). During this rare heat of summer we came across this fabulous sign outside the Prince Charles Cinema off Leicester Square. It celebrates the wit of priceless independence, while 50 yards away the Odeon and Empire remain aloof, corporate and stiff from hoovering red carpets. The Butch and Sundance ten pound note is a tease. We have applied to the Gambling Commission for permission to run a ‘tenner’ prize draw offering Odyssey gifts (including named seats, first year early booking membership and opening night tickets). St Albans licensing dept has been a huge treasure of help and information. They have pointed us to The Gambling Commission and surprisingly helpful they are too. The title sounds so serious and stern but no, they are real people at the end of a phone, willing to listen and help. So upon their instruction, we have applied for the correct licence.
It takes six weeks to process, but our Odyssey project falls in to their remit for approval. So with any luck, we will open this prize draw in September. So make ready to take part.
A ‘like’ on facebook/website (when this gets there) will give us a fair idea ahead of approval, if you too fancy the idea. If it fails, we’ll think of something else.
We’ve come this far. Nothing will stop us now, especially not having enough money. Your ‘sister’ cinema, The Rex was broke a week before opening in November 2004, with cement mixers in the foyer. The dream is nearly real, the odyssey nearly over and reality, nearly real…
The naming of seats…
Naming a seat in the Odyssey makes a unique gift for a friend or loved one (and/or to yourself with your own name). It is an exceptional way of remembering someone with a passion for cinema, St Albans and the old Odeon. Or you might be a small company who wants to be associated with the place now, and have your name (in low lights) on a seat or row of six…!
The seat will bear your chosen name for the lifetime of the cinema. So forever(ish).
You can name a seat for £1000. It goes directly towards the costs of the vital final stages of the Odyssey cinema fit-out. After many expensive delays, unforeseen consultancy fees and costs such as the £130,000 ‘Environmental Clean’ (still under question), our chosen main contractor, Procare, is brilliant, unswervingly supportive, and keeping us on course to open in the Spring next year. But we need that final few hundred thousand. It no longer matters how much, we’ll find it. Not whining, or worrying, though we all felt much younger at the start of this great new adventure, it’s just telling you straight.
od4Two views from inside, each with daylight bursting in from broken parts. The man on the boards is standing on top of a birdcage scaffolding high above the auditorium (that’s the ceiling just above his head). Sunlight is streaming through holes everywhere. Take it in. When you see it, it will be dark with different magical lights, though never as magical as this again.

It’s now easier than ever to buy a piece of The Odyssey Cinema!

blog pic 3After 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

Summary update from The Odyssey, St.Albans


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.


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.


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