Empire Cinemas collapse sees six sites close the curtains

10th July 2023 | Jack Oliver

Empire Cinemas has closed six of its sites and 150 jobs have been lost following the chain’s collapse into administration.

A further eight sites remain open, but are also at risk of closure.

The chain’s administrator, BDO, said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic along with the cost-of-living crisis had “significantly affected” Empire’s business.

Empire’s screens in Bishop’s Stortford, Catterick Garrison, Sunderland, Swindon, Walthamstow, and Wigan have all now closed.

The remaining cinemas in Birmingham, Clydebank, High Wycombe, Ipswich, Sutton, Bath, and Cheltenham will continue to trade while administrators look for a buyer.

Founded in 2005, Empire was created following the mergers of Odeon and UCI, and Cineworld and UGC.

The Office of Fair Trading ruled that both of the newly-formed groups should lose a number of their cinemas, creating a gap in the market for Empire to fill.

Before the closure, the chain operated 129 screens nationwide.

Rival chain Cineworld also collapsed into administration last month.


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