New addition for colourful history of cinema in Ipswich - as Empire Cinemas collects keys to Buttermarket unit
© Stephen Waller
One of the biggest retail developments in Ipswich's history is beginning to take shape as owners hand over the keys to the centre's main attraction.
Empire Cinema, along with Coast to Coast, Cosy Club and Prezzo, are due to begin their refits in the Buttermarket centre this month as part of the venue’s £35million revamp.
Pure Gym, Wagamama and Byron Burger will also feature in the new-look leisure facility.
Representatives from joint centre owners Capital & Regional and Drum Property Group met with Empire’s chief executive, Justin Ribbons, on Thursday to officially ‘hand over’ the soon-to-be cinema space.
The 12-screen Empire Cinemas complex will create 45 new jobs ahead of the grand opening this winter, when it will join Cineworld as the second cinema in Ipswich.
The cinema will include two large IMPACT screens, which feature stadium seating and extra leg room.
Appointed as general manager is Adam Root, who comes to Ipswich from the Walthamstow branch.
He said: “I am really excited to take on the stewardship of the brand new state-of-the-art cinema in Ipswich.
“I lived in Ipswich for a couple of years as a child and still have family there so it will be great to be working in a town that I already hold great affection for. We have some fantastic plans for the new cinema and I can’t wait to get started with them.”
The cinema will be surrounded by nine new food and drink operators.
Already trading in the Buttermarket are New Look, TK Maxx, Select, Boots, Grape Tree and Holland & Barrett.
Nadine Weatherley, assistant manager of the Buttermarket, said there were now only two vacant units in the centre.