|Industry||Leisure, Entertainment & refreshments|
|Headquarters||Empire Studios, The Empire, Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7NA.|
|Products||Tickets, popcorn, alcohol, drinks & confectionery|
Empire Cinemas Limited is a multiplex cinema chain in the UK. There are 17 Empire Cinemas (although one in Ealing lies derelict) with 164 screens in total, including the flagship Empire Cinema in Leicester Square, London which hosts various film premières and first-runs.
Ownership & management
The ultimate beneficial owner of Empire Cinemas Ltd is Irish entrepreneur Thomas Anderson. Anderson also owns Inspiration Holdings Ltd, a company which now owns Altive Media Pearl & Dean advertising company, Titan Parking and Clarkebond. The CEO of Empire Cinemas, Justin Ribbons, is also an Executive Director of Inspiration Holdings.
Empire Cinemas Limited was formed in 2005 when Empire acquired the cinemas divested from Odeon Cinemas and Cineworld after the Office of Fair Trading had required them to divest 11 of the Odeon chain and six of the Cineworld chain. In 2005, both Odeon and the UK operations of UCI were taken over by Terra Firma who planned to merge the businesses under the Odeon brand. At the same time, Cineworld took over the UK and Republic of Ireland operations of UGC and began merging them into their existing Cineworld brand. Empire Cinemas Ltd acquired both groups of available cinemas and began to rebrand them all as Empire Cinemas.
|Town/City||Number of screens||Notes|
|Basildon||18||6 studio screens and 1 impact screen|
|Birmingham (Great Park)||13||Standard and Premium Seating in all screens, 1 luxury screen|
|Ealing||0 (Closed)||Closed for redevelopment since 5 September 2008 and demolished (excluding facade) in 2009.|
|Leicester Square||8||IMAX Theatre and Impact Screen.|
|Newcastle Upon Tyne||16||Part of the Gate complex. To be expanded to 20, including 1 impact screen.|
|Slough||10||1 luxury screen, 1 Impact screen|
|Sunderland||12||Including VIP seating|
Controversy surrounding Empire's Ealing site
Empire Cinemas closed its Ealing cinema on 5 September 2008 and demolished the cinema in early 2009 for redevelopment, retaining the front facade. Empire had not yet started building work on the new cinema or (according to Ealing Council) presented a timescale for the building work as of 25 July 2011, so Ealing Council started to pursue a compulsory purchase of the Ealing cinema site. At a council meeting attended by CEO Justin Ribbons on 28 June 2011, Mr Ribbons responded to the council's complaints, saying that the delay was caused by a misunderstanding between Empire and council planning officers. At a later meeting between Justin Ribbons and Ealing Council on 14 September 2011, Mr Ribbons said that he was "optimistic that work could re-start before Christmas" however as of May 2012, construction work on the site had not yet started.
On 29 May 2012, Ealing Council's leader wrote to Empire to inform them that compulsory purchase proceedings would now start. On 2 June 2012, Empire Cinemas released a statement to the press, announcing that Clarkebond (a consultancy owned by Empire's parent company, Inspiration Holdings) had been appointed to manage the construction, which would now start in "August 2012"; and that the finished cinema would open in "early 2014". As of 3 October 2012, construction had still not started and Empire changed the start date listed on their website from "August" to "August/September". As of 18 October 2012, any reference to a start date has been removed from the web site. On 19 October 2012, construction and excavation vehicles were seen in operation on the cinema site, however as of June 2014 no further building work had commenced.
- Sweney, Mark (21 April 2010). "STV sells Pearl & Dean to Thomas Anderson". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
- "Ward Anderson buys six British cinemas for £40 million". The Post.ie. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
- "Summersault Communications brings together national cinema chains with new look publication". APA. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
- "Work should start as soon as possible". Ealing Today. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
- "Expansion will see extra-large screen at Newcastle's Empire Cinema". nebusiness. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- "Cinema boss grilled by councillors over stalled development". Ealing Gazette. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
- "Is this the end of Empire?". Ealing Today. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
- Work to begin in six weeks on new Ealing cinema "Work to begin in six weeks on new Ealing cinema". Ealing Gazette. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
- Letter from Ealing Council's leader to Empire Cinemas to inform them that compulsory purchase proceedings will now start "Letter from Ealing Council's leader to Empire Cinemas to inform them that compulsory purchase proceedings will now start". Ealing Council. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
- Press release from Empire Cinemas, announcing a start new date for construction of August 2012 and an opening date of Spring 2014 "Letter from Ealing Council's leader to Empire Cinemas to inform them that compulsory purchase proceedings will now start". Empire Cinemas. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Empire Cinemas.|
- Save Ealing Cinema! Petition
- Are Empire Back in the Picture? Ealing Today, accessed 2014-07-30
- Ealing faces three more years without a cinema despite council stepping in Get West London, accessed 2014-07-30
- Council serves CPO to enable £100million ‘cultural quarter’ in Ealing Get West London, accessed 2014-07-30
- Permission granted for new cinema but now with fewer screens Ealing Today, accessed 2014-06-09
- Empire Cinemas owner fails to oppose appointment of receivers at Ealing Cinema UKBusinessProperty.co.uk Accessed 2013-02-28
- Ealing Council selects Land Securities as a developer for Ealing's cinema Ealing Council, accessed 2014-06-07
- Skeptical council refuses to drop CPO threat as piling work on Ealing Cinema begins Ealing Gazette Accessed 2012-12-17
- Press release from Empire Cinemas, announcing a start new date for construction of August 2012 and an opening date of "early 2014" Accessed 2012-06-02
- Letter from Ealing Council's leader to Empire Cinemas to inform them that compulsory purchase proceedings will now start 2012-05-31
- Start building cinema by end of month or council steps in Ealing Gazette 2012-05-25
- Ealing's 'Pile Of Rubbish' Highlighted In Parliament Ealing Today 2012-03-08
- Work to begin in six weeks on new Ealing cinema Ealing Gazette 2011-09-22
- Cinema boss grilled by councillors over stalled development Ealing Gazette 2011-07-29
- Is this the end of Empire? Ealing Today 2011-07-20
- Empire Cinema backs down over car park plan Ealing Gazette 08/12/2010
- Empire told to build cinema or lose your site Ealing Gazette 22/04/2010
- John Nugent: Why I don't care that Leicester Square is no longer the home of British Cinema London Loves Business accessed 2014-07-30
- Empire Concerned About Bromley South Redevelopment Project Bromley News Shopper 2012-02-11
- Cinema Group Reports Box Office Records The Scotsman 2012-31-01
- Empire Cinemas agree to deploy 200 digital screens in the UK 4rfv.co.uk 2011-07-16
- Escape magazine is re-launched APA 05/04/2011
- STV sells Pearl & Dean to Thomas Anderson The Guardian 21/10/2010
- Ward Anderson buys six British cinemas for £40m The Post.ie 22/01/2006