Proposed Lewisham cinema operator collapses into administration

The proposed operator of a cinema in Lewisham being built as part of a major town centre project has collapsed.

Empire cinemas was formed in 2005 and due to operate at Lewisham Gateway.


The latest and final phase is currently under construction and due for residents to move in before the year is out.

Render of cinema at Lewisham Gateway development

Of 14 cinemas across the country six closed with immediate effect. At attempt to find operators for a further eight are ongoing.

It’s a major blow to Lewisham which would have seen its first multiplex for many years.

View of cinema from earlier this year

The development is also set to bring a Sainsbury’s, a gym, bakery alongside a coffee shop and other outlets.

But all those were ten a penny really. The cinema was what would offer something the town has lacked for many years.

Cinema plan in Woolwich at former covered market

Will another operator take it on? Cineworld recently entered administration and have substantial debts. Their premium brand Picturehouse is supposed to be a part of a major Woolwich development.

That was announced way back in 2019 – and no work has yet begun across the Woolwich site.

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

8 thoughts on “Proposed Lewisham cinema operator collapses into administration

  • The day may come when developers and councils realise that large shopping developments leased to major retailers while convenient for them are much more susceptible to long term vacancy than individual smaller shop units that can also help local people start their own business.
    Also you mention the ten-a-penny bakers. Where do I find all these bakers?

  • I hope the cinema doesn’t lie dormant for years ☹️

  • There’s high street bakery chains everywhere. And the specific one coming to this development (Gail’s) can also be seen a mile away or two mins on a train at Blackheath, or a mile away and two mins on a DLR at Greenwich.

  • Ah, it must just be Plumstead and Woolwich that have no bakers then. Greggs doesn’t count as a baker because they don’t seem to sell bread anymore.

  • Boulangerie Jade is in Woolwich, not 40 paces from exit of Elizabeth line

  • I think the bowling alley would be a good fit for this area and move it from the current location

  • Gregg’s is more like a fast food takeaway shop these days.


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