45 Queensmere Centre,
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Architects: Bill Fisher
Firms: Farrington Dennys Fisher
Previous Names: Maybox Movie Centre, Gallery, Virgin, UGC, Cineworld Cinema -Slough
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 from 3rd May 1989 it 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 theatre 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.
In 2022 it was announced that the ageing 1970’s Queensmere shopping Centre would be at the heart of a new major re-development, which would also include the nearby Observatory Shopping Centre, into what will be known as Slough Central. In late-2022 British Land, the lead contractor, announced that the western side of the Queensmere Centre would be closing from January 2023. Many shops and restaurants in that area had already closed, or relocated, and, on 9th December 2022, Empire Cinemas confirmed that their cinema had closed on the previous evening. Empire bosses said that, as the works progress around the cinema, trading would inevitably become increasingly difficult. leading to reduced footfall, and they have therefore taken the decision to close the cinema sooner rather than later.
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