Dec 7 2006 Paisley Daily Express
New Odeon is hit by more delays
BOSSES of a trouble-hit cinema at the new Xscape leisure centre have admitted it will be months before it is ready to open for business.
The launch of the state-of-the-art Odeon multiplex next to Braehead Shopping Centre was supposed to have taken place on April 6 this year.
But it has been hit by lengthy delays after a massive section of ceiling collapsed just days before it was meant to welcome its first customers.
While thousands of visitors have been pouring into Xscape to try their hand at skiing, snowboarding and climbing, the Odeon’s doors have remained closed.
And the 12-screen cinema complex is not expected to open until at least Spring next year.
A spokeswoman for Odeon said: “We don’t have an exact date for the launch.”
Specialist inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive were called in to investigate in March this year when a 200-square metre section of plaster fell to the ground inside an auditorium at the cinema.
Officials sealed off the auditorium and workmen were only allowed back on site once inspectors decided it was safe.
Construction firm Laing O’Rourke – which oversaw the building work at Xscape – is the same firm which built the debating chamber at the Scottish Parliament, where a large wooden beam became loose last spring, forcing MSPs to hold their meetings elsewhere.
Work began on Xscape in October 2004 and the popular development houses an indoor ski slope, a bowling alley and a climbing wall, as well as a number of shops and restaurants.
A spokeswoman for Xscape said the Odeon complex was now expected to open early next spring.
But she would not be drawn on the problems faced by the multiplex or why it is taking so long for it to open.
Asked about the cause of the ceiling collapse, the spokeswoman for Odeon Cinemas said: “I am unable to comment on that.”
Yesterday, visitors to Xscape expressed their disappointment that the cinema complex remains closed.
Renfrew mum Anne Wilson said: “The cinema was due to open back in April but it now looks like we’ll be lucky if it’s open by April next year.
“It seems ridiculous that it’s taking such a long time to sort out the problems there.”
Paisley teenager Linda McPherson added: “I’ve been to Xscape a few times now and it’s a terrific place but it’d be even better if the cinema complex was open.
“I would have liked to have seen the new James Bond film here with my friends but we ended up going into Glasgow instead.”