Omniplex Cinemas buys five Empire Cinemas sites in UK

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Five Empire Cinemas sites around England have been sold to Irish company Omniplex Cinemas: more on the acquisition here.

As we suggested over the weekend, a deal has now been completed for five of the Empire Cinemas sites in the UK. The Empire Cinemas group went into receivership over the summer, with the immediate closure of several of its cinemas. Five of those that continued trading have now got new homes.

It’s the Omniplex Cinema Group, the largest cinema operator in Ireland, which is splashing out £22.5m over an 18 month period to acquire and then refit the cinemas concerned.

The five sites that have been saved are confirmed as Birmingham Great Park, Ipswich, Sutton, Clydebank and High Wycombe. They all become part of the Omniplex group this month, which has plans for further expansion into England across 2024.

“We are thrilled to bring Omniplex Cinemas to Great Britain. Our disciplined approach to investing in our businesses and unwavering drive to operate high-quality cinema locations have proved successful over the years on the island of Ireland and has given us the confidence to venture into new territories”, said the director of the group, John Anderson, according to Deadline.

Separately, the former Swindon site has been picked up by Vue Cinemas. That one has been closed since the summer, but Vue will be reopening it with a fresh 12-screen multiplex cinema in its place.

The Omniplex deal has secured a reported 150 jobs across the five cinemas it’s acquired. There’s still a question mark over Empire’s Tivoli-branded cinemas in Bath and Cheltenham, but at least this is positive news for five cinemas. Including, as it happens, my personal local cinema too.

Sadly, there’s not much of an olive branch for the other Empires that closed over the summer, but we’ll keep you posted as we hear more on that. Likewise, the mothballed Sutton Coldfield Empire cinema remains a mystery, but we’re watched that closely.

More as we hear it.

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