Omniplex Cinema Group, Ireland’s largest cinema company, is crossing the Irish Sea.
The company announced today that it has set its first expansion into mainland Great Britain (Omniplex already has locations across Northern Ireland) with the purchase of five existing cinema locations previously owned by the embattled operator Empire Cinemas.
This expansion will see Birmingham, Ipswich, Sutton, Clydebank, and High Wycombe Empire sites join the Omniplex Cinema Group portfolio, with each location set to open in early December 2023 and more to be announced in 2024. Omniplex Cinema Group is making a total investment of £22.5 million over eighteen months to acquire and renovate these existing locations.
Omniplex has said the investment will secure at least 150 existing jobs. The individual site openings are planned on the following dates: Birmingham on 6 December, Ipswich and Sutton on 8 December, and Clydebank and High Wycombe on 10 December 2023.
“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,” Paul John Anderson, Director of the Omniplex Cinema Group, said. “This expansion is a testament to our commitment to innovation, quality, and delivering unforgettable moments for our customers.”
Omniplex operates 38 separate cinema locations with 270 screens on the island of Ireland. Empire Cinemas, which previously operated at 14 locations with 129 screens, entered administration earlier this year. We exclusively reported that the company’s site at Sutton Coldfield was set to be sold, and cinemas at Bishop’s Stortford, Catterick Garrison, Sunderland, Swindon, Walthamstow, and Wigan ceased trading with several redundancies.
The sites bought today by Omniplex were among the remaining few cinemas in the company’s portfolio, alongside two Tivoli sites in Bath and Cheltenham, which have also hit the selling block.