Empire Cinemas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Empire Cinemas Limited
Privately held company
Industry Leisure, Entertainment & refreshments
Founded 2005
Headquarters Empire Studios, The Empire, Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7NA.
Number of locations
Products Tickets, popcorn, alcohol, drinks & confectionery
Website www.empirecinemas.co.uk
Empire Leicester Square (old signage)

Empire Cinemas Limited is a multiplex cinema chain in the UK. There are 14 Empire Cinemas across the country, with 127 screens in total.

Ownership & management[edit]

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.[1] The CEO of Empire Cinemas, Justin Ribbons, is also an Executive Director of Inspiration Holdings.


Empire Cinemas Sunderland, Sunniside Entertainment Complex

Empire was originally a cinema in Leicester Square in London which opened in 1884 as the Empire Theatre and was a West End variety theatre, designed by Thomas Verity.

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 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.[2]

In July 2016, the company sold five cinemas, including the flagship in Leicester Square, to Cineworld for £94 million.[3] The cinemas transferred to Cineworld on 12 August 2016.[4] In June 2017 the Newcastle-upon-Tyne cinema was also sold to Cineworld.[5]


Empire, in conjunction with cinema chain Showcase, publishes Escape, a bi-monthly customer magazine, distributed free at 50 cinemas. It contains film reviews, interviews and competitions.[6]

Current locations[edit]

Location Screens Notes
Bishops Stortford 6
Birmingham (Great Park) 13 Standard and Premium Seating in all screens, 1 former luxury screen and 1 IMAX screen seating 422 plus 4 wheelchairs
Catterick Garrison 7 Includes an IMPACT screen
Clydebank 10
High Wycombe 8
Ipswich 12 Includes 2 IMPACT screens and 2 D-BOX screens. Opening 31 March 2017. [7]
London – Haymarket 3 Acquired in exchange as part of the sale of five cinemas to Cineworld. Under Empire control from 7 April 2017.
Slough 10 1 luxury screen, 1 IMPACT screen
Sunderland 12 Including VIP seating
Sutton 6
Sutton Coldfield 4
Swindon 12
Wigan 11
Walthamstow 9 Opened 20 November 2014


  1. ^ Sweney, Mark (21 April 2010). "STV sells Pearl & Dean to Thomas Anderson". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Ward Anderson buys six British cinemas for £40 million". The Post.ie. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Cineworld buys five cinemas from Empire for £94m". Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "IT'S A WRAP". empirecinemas.co.uk. 
  5. ^ Hodgson, Barbara (2017-06-14). "Empire Newcastle is taken over by Cineworld cinema". nechronicle. Retrieved 2017-06-19. 
  6. ^ "Summersault Communications brings together national cinema chains with new look publication". APA. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "EMPIRE CINEMAS TO ROLL OUT THE RED CARPET IN IPSWICH". Empire Cinemas. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 

External links[edit]