Ireland’s Omniplex chain snaps up five former Empire cinemas

The Empire Cinemas chain collapsed into administration earlier this year (Alamy/PA)
The Empire Cinemas chain collapsed into administration earlier this year (Alamy/PA)

Ireland’s largest cinema chain has snapped up five cinemas from Empire, after the operator tumbled into administration earlier this year.

Omniplex, which 38 sites in the Republic and Northern Ireland, said the deal will be its first expansion into the British mainland.

The deal will involve an investment of more than £22 million and secure the future of 150 jobs.

Omniplex will take on the Empire cinemas in Birmingham, Ipswich, Sutton, Clydebank and High Wycombe, which will all reopen under the new ownership over the next week. The sites will also be taken into the Omniplex brand.

Omniplex cinema, Omagh
Omniplex will reopen five British cinemas over the next week (Omniplex/PA)

It comes after Empire Cinemas collapsed into administration in July following the fallout of the pandemic and pressure on cinemagoer numbers.

Administrators for the business immediately shut six of its cinemas.

However, it continued to operate the five remaining sites, as well as two further locations under the Tivoli brand.

The administrators, BDO, said they would continue to run the remaining cinemas as they sought a buyer.

On Monday, Omniplex said it will invest to renovate the sites and will look to expand further in the UK next year.

Paul John Anderson, director of the Omniplex Cinema Group, said: “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.

“This expansion is a testament to our commitment to innovation, quality and delivering unforgettable moments for our customers.”