More to Follow St Albans

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The residents of St Albans can look forward to getting a new old cinema thanks to all their hard work of raising £1 million in little over two months. This is an amazing achievement, especially in a recession, and in such a short period of time and without lottery money. There were two main things which helped the success of St Albans. The first was the publicity machine, without question there seemed to be a story about St Albans and the Odeon campaign if not daily, then several times a week in the local newspapers. This constant campaigning along with a real deadline for it to be raised by has helped the money to be raised so quickly

The second really helpful thing that this campaign did was to have lots of different ways for people to get involved. It didn’t matter how much money you had you could show your support for the enterprise in a very practice way. From buying shares to providing loans to just making a simple donation it meant that everyone could be involved (

St Albans isn’t unique in wanting to reopen it’s former cinema and run itself, throughout the UK there are campaigns going on all the time, but it’s the speed and the lack of major lottery or related grants, which makes this campaign stand out.

Of course this is only the start of the process as now £2 million needs to be raised to refit the building and make any repairs needed.

So the question is really, is this the start of something different? Are we going to see this repeated in other parts of the country? I would suggest that it is and should be. It wasn’t just the sum or the speed which raised the money, but the passion The local community of St Albans is passionate about the project – they want it to happen. Of course there is a good management team with James Hannaway CEO of the Rex Cinema ( being on board, but their is no reason why it shouldn’t be repeated again and again across the country. It just takes a lot of energy and passion.

* I write this article as an observer of the success of the St Albans project, rather than being directly involved, so this is very much my impression of the story. The website with the latest information on the project can be found here:

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