Empire Cinemas

45 Queensmere Centre,
Slough, SL1 1DD

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The Empire as the Cineworld in April 2006

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Situated in the Queensmere Shopping Center in Slough, Berkshire

10 screens spread across 4 floors. Seating capacities in the screens range from 487, down to 96. The cinema has seen many different chains operate the site and is a good example of how the cinema industry in the UK has changed over the years. It was built for the Maybox Group opening on 3rd November 1987 as the Maybox Movie Centre, then became the Gallery when it was operated by Cineplex Odeon. Later operators were Virgin, UGC and Cineworld.

Formerly two separate buildings, Screen 4 used to be a theater that had a removable screen. The stage area still remains behind the screen with all the fixtures and fittings still in place. Unfortunately after a very poor refurbishment by Virgin Cinemas, the screen masking cannot be moved.

In its heyday the site was one of the busiest cinemas in the UK with well over 1,000,000 admissions per year, but due to increasing competition and lack of investment these has steadily been eroded.

Contributed by Neil Stapley

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 19, 2008 at 9:30 am

Photographed as the Cineworld in January 2004:

phxyvr on October 27, 2010 at 9:05 am

The Architects for the refurbishment of the building into Maybox Cinemas were Farringdon Dennys Fisher, formerly of 1 Mercer St., London. The building had been used as a community center previously. The partner in charge was Bill Fisher.

Billy on February 24, 2015 at 6:53 pm

As perhaps imagined due to the huge amount of former owners, the inside styling is a mishmash of 1990s and 2000s design from its various former incarnations.

The top floor (screens 6 to 9) in particular appears to have been completely untouched since around the turn of the millennium, to the point where as of February 2015 it continues to advertise the long, long closed Virgin Megastore on the ground floor – a brand defunct since 2007!

iankingdon1980 on November 16, 2017 at 7:49 pm

I was a senior projectionist there in 1999-2002 when it was UGC with Ian Bolton and ron shepard who where original from the abc central in reading .screen 4 still has the changing rooms for the theatre under the stage also the projector could be seen through the glass fronted projection room

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