Buyer sought for Clydebank Empire Cinema

Empire Clydebank
Six Empire Cinema sites have closed, but Clydebank will remain open in the hope of finding a buyer.

By Lucy Ashton

The Empire Cinema in Clydebank is to remain open for now after the chain collapsed into administration – with the immediate loss of 150 jobs.

Six outlets have closed, with a further eight under threat.

The Clydebank cinema is among those which will continue to trade while administrators BDO look for a buyer.

Going to “the pictures” was the thing to do in West Dunbartonshire and Dumbarton, Alexandria, Renton and Helensburgh all had busy cinemas.

Latterly, after the Rialto, The Picture House, The Regal and the La Scala all closed, the Late Tommy Crocket and his wife Elspeth ran the Concord Community Cinema for move buffs in Dumbarton.

However, the impact of the Covid pandemic and the cost of living crisis have “significantly affected” the business.

Empire cinemas in Bishop’s Stortford, Catterick Garrison, Sunderland, Swindon, Walthamstow and Wigan closed on Friday.

As well as Clydebank, sites in Birmingham, High Wycombe, Ipswich and Sutton and the two Tivoli-branded venues in Bath and Cheltenham will continue to trade as the administrators look for a buyer.

BDO said the cinemas employed a total of 437 staff across England and Scotland.

Gift cards, ticket e-codes, guest passes and readmission tickets will continue to be valid at trading cinema sites, the administrators added.

Advance ticket purchases at sites which have closed will be automatically refunded.

Rival chain Cineworld fell into administration last month. It cited the financial hit of the pandemic and competition from streaming.

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