THE ODEON in Southend is not closing say the firm in the light of proposals for a new multiplex cinema.

The Echo revealed this week Southend Council has agreed to proceed with the developer as a ‘special purchaser’ for Seaway car park off Lucy Road at a behind closed doors meeting of senior councillors.

It will lead the way for the regeneration of the area as part of a scheme known as St John’s Quarter - first mooted in 2005.

It has not been announced who the operator is but the Echo has contacted a number of the major cinema companies and can confirm its not the Odeon.

A spokeswoman for Odeon said: “ We have no plans to close the High Street Odeon and have no information about a new multiplex cinema for elsewhere in Southend.”

So residents and visitors to the town are set to have two cinemas to choose from.

A spokesperson for Cineworld said; “Here at Cineworld we are continually reviewing locations across the UK for the opportunity to open new cinemas and provide entertainment to local communities.

“At present there is no confirmation of plans to open a Cineworld at Seaway car park, Southend.”

Vue cinemas said it was not behind the plans.

The news of the redevelopment of the car park and a new cinema has been welcomed by town centre traders.