Sneak preview of new Empire Cinema at Buttermarket in Ipswich

The new Empire cinema in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The new Empire cinema in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

The new 14-screen Empire Cinema at the Buttermarket in Ipswich is opening its doors to movie fans tomorrow - and we have been given a special behind-the-scenes sneak preview.

The first thing that strikes you when you enter the cinema is its Tardis-like size, it is incredible how so many screens have been built in the space they’ve had.

The welcoming foyer is packed with all manner of munchies, including the chain’s own brand of coffee, a machine that lets you mix Britvic juice flavours and Adnams on tap.

Behind the scenes tour of new Empire cinema in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Behind the scenes tour of new Empire cinema in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

The cinema features luxury seating in all of its screens with the option for movie-goers to upgrade to a sofa or even an electronically controlled reclining seat in its two biggest.

The state-of-the-art venue is the first all-laser projection cinema in Suffolk and only the second in the UK.

Behind the scenes tour of new Empire cinema in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Behind the scenes tour of new Empire cinema in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown


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Operations manager Paul Baxter said the technology makes a huge difference to the cinema experience and will blow fans of the silver screen away.

“It gives you a much brighter picture and much blacker blacks – it is a much more immersive experience,” he said.

Paul Baxter, operations director of the new Empire cinema in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Paul Baxter, operations director of the new Empire cinema in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

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“We have luxury seats in every screen.

“These would normally be the luxury seats in other cinemas, but these are our standard.

Paul Baxter, operations director at the new Empire cinema in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Paul Baxter, operations director at the new Empire cinema in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

“They are fantastic, everyone who sits in them says ‘this is it’.

“Then you have our double sofa seats and the option of reclining seats too.”

Paul Baxter, operations director of the new Empire cinema in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Paul Baxter, operations director of the new Empire cinema in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

The screens also include Dolby Atmos sound, a digital system which splits the sound between more speakers than most cinemas.

Empire Cinema’s screen number 1, which stretches 20m by 8m, includes 49 separate speakers.

“It is the biggest screen in Ipswich,” said Paul

“The Atmos system sounds great when there is a big crash wallop but it is when it is quieter when it comes into its own.

“It can send a sound effect to just one single speaker.

“I don’t think there us a better sound system anywhere,” said Paul.

Are you a film buff? Give our movie screenshot quiz a go here

A standard ticket at Empire Cinema will be £7, £9.50 to see it in one of the two biggest screens with a £1 extra charge for a sofa seat and £2.50 for a recliner.

3D films will be the same price as 2D films.

“We have no price increase for 3D,” said Paul, “if the film is 3D, it’s 3D,”

“Our thinking is if you want to see it in 3D, you will.”

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