The curtain is set to rise again at an iconic Sutton Coldfield cinema. The Empire has been closed two years will soon reopen according to town MP Andrew Mitchell.
Situated on the corner of Maney Corner the Grade II listed building brought the curtain down for the last time during the Covid lockdown in November 2020.
Since then the cinema revealed plans to sell off its car park to retirement home developers, McCarthy & Stone, which was given the go-ahead by Birmingham City Council ’s planning committee in September. The deal included a £200,000 payment from the developers to help with upgrading the cinema.
Mr Mitchelll is reported to have spoken to Empire Cinema chief Justin Ribbons who has confirmed the cinema will open ‘early in the new year’. Mr Mitchell said the proposed re-opening date could be as soon as January.
Mr Mitchell in his weekly newsletter said: “Great news on our Royal Town cinema. I have spoken today with the chief executive of our cinema, Justin Ribbons, who has now confirmed that a refurbished and enhanced cinema is scheduled to reopen ‘early in the new year’.
“The cinema will be undergoing significant upgrades with brand new seating, carpets and internal repainting. This is very good news and I have accepted an invitation to perform the reopening ceremony!
“There has been widespread and serious support throughout the Royal Town to have our cinema reinstated. I’d like to thank all those who have campaigned and supported the reopening and enhancing of this priceless local asset – our cinema.”