Cineworld Cinema - Basildon

Festival Leisure Park, Pipps Hill,
Basildon, SS14 3DG

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Related Websites

Cineworld Cinemas UK (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Cineworld

Previously operated by: Empire Cinemas UK, UCI Theatres

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Previous Names: UCI, Empire Basidon

Nearby Theaters

Cineworld Cinema - Basildon

The 12-screen UCI opened on 16th July 1998. It was taken over by Empire Cinemas and re-named in 2006. Seating capacities range from 538 in screen 12 (the largest), to 146 in screens 3 & 10 (the smallest) with a total capacity for 2,902.

In the spring of 2013, the Empire Cinemas added 6 small ‘Studio’ screens.

In July 2016 the Empire Basildon was one of five Empire cinemas taken over by the Cineworld chain. The other four cinemas were the Empire, Leicester Square, London, Hemel Hempstead, Poole and Bromley. The two small Studio screens were convered into a Starbuck in 2018. Screen X was added on 5th Sptil 2019.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

LARGE_screen_format on August 25, 2018 at 3:40 am

According to that 2016 Annual Report, at the end of 2016 Cineworld had 27 4DX screens, 33 IMAX screens and six of their own Superscreen formats across their whole group including RoI and Europe.

I’m surprised to learn that they only had six Superscreens.

CF100 on August 25, 2018 at 6:13 am

Was just trying to find out how many IMPACT screens Empire sold to Cineworld and stumbled across this:

Bournemouth Echo – Article on new cinema and restaurants at the Dolphin Centre, Poole – September 2017.

It says that Empire have signed a 25 year lease, and the cinema is proposed to include an IMPACT screen, D-BOX, and (sigh) an open-air rooftop cinema.

Can’t find any articles from 2018, which seems odd, unless the scheme has been shelved?

Either way, another case of Empire Cinemas planning on opening a new cinema just up the road from one only just sold to Cineworld!

LARGE_screen_format on August 25, 2018 at 6:25 am

My guess is they perhaps only sold these two particular sites (17-screen Basildon, Essex and 16-screen Bournemouth) due to being offered so much over the ‘market value’ that it would have been bonkers not to have taken the deal.

Clearly, they must have been busy sites for them to reinvest in new competing sites, this time in town centres? Hopefully, they will go all out and make these new cinemas something special in order to attract some of Cineworld’s client base from the existing sites?

Talking of D-Box, has anyone watched a movie in a D-Box screen? I’ve watched a few movies in 4DX but not D-Box and am considering trying it out at some point if its any good?

CF100 on August 25, 2018 at 5:18 pm

Planning application for the Dolphin Centre, Poole cinema development.

Having a quick look through, the application was referred to the Secretary of State due to the development being in “identified future flood zones […] where the Environment Agency have not been prepared to withdraw their objection despite discussion between those parties and justification for the design by the applicants.” (See the “NATIONAL PLANNING CASEWORK UNIT” document.)

However, in correspondence dated 9th August 2018, Secretary of State states that the application will not be “called in.” (See the “SECRETARY OF STATE DECISION” document.)

Though the original planning application was received by the Borough of Poole in October 2017, “AMENDED PLANS” are available from July 2018.

These plans are marked as being sourced from T.P. Bennett, and the only comment for the revised plans is “Levels amended”—however, the auditoria plans definitely look like they are from UNICK Architects.

Whilst the originally submitted plans showed an Auditorium 2 (the largest) marked as “IMPACT,” with curved rows of seats, the revised one is no longer marked as an “IMPACT” screen, has straight rows of seats, and, based on my scaling from these drawings is slightly smaller.

Specifically, as scaled from the revised plans, Auditorium 2 is proposed to be built to the following dimensions:

  • Auditorium size – ~14.3x17.2m.

  • Screen width – ~13.9m. (~45.5ft.)

  • Distance from screen to last full row – ~14.6m.

  • Distance from screen to last row – 16.5m.

The middle section of the last row is occupied by the projector(s).

Similar to the Basildon proposals, the disabled bays are at the front of the auditorium (this time between row 1 and 2), the last row is all recliners, and the last full row is all sofas.

Seating count – 175 + 2 disabled, of which 144 standard, 13 recliner, 18 sofa.

Auditorium 7 is a D-BOX with 17 recliners.

Other seating counts:

Auditorium 1 – 94 + 2 disabled (72 standard, 10 recliner and 12 sofa.) Auditorium 3 – 51 + 2 disabled (37 standard, 6 recliner and 8 sofa.) Auditorium 4 – 36 + 2 disabled (22 standard, 6 recliner and 8 sofa.) Auditorium 5 – 104 + 2 disabled (87 standard, 8 recliner and 9 sofa.) Auditorium 6 – 31 + 2 disabled (31 standard.) Auditorium 8 – 55 + 2 disabled (40 standard, 7 recliner and 8 sofa.)

CF100 on August 25, 2018 at 5:26 pm

LARGE_screen_format: Re: D-BOX – I haven’t been to one. I seem to recall that Zappomatic has?

According to the Wikipedia page for D-BOX (granted, not necessarily the most reliable source on the planet, but currently too tired for further research!)—the D-BOX seats tilt and shake—so 4DX (albeit 4DX has various options for an installation with fewer features available with the basic versions) with its “environmental effects” would seem to be a more fully featured system?

CF100 on August 26, 2018 at 3:35 am

Addendum: To clarify, the outcome of the Dolphin Centre, Poole cinema/restaurant development planning application has not yet been decided.

LARGE_screen_format on August 26, 2018 at 3:46 am

If D-Box just offered built-in shakers in comfy armchair style seats I’d probably check it out. Seen as it includes tilting seats as well then one may as well go all out and watch a movie in 4DX for a more immersive effect.

That’s bad news regarding an IMPACT auditorium being dropped, I’m sure Empire Cinemas will be disappointed at having to implement this change. Although most auditoria contain recliners and sofas, which reduce the seating capacities, the seat counts do still seem on the low side for a new multiplex. I guess nowadays having more auditoria and therefore a wider range of programming takes precedence over having fewer auditoria with larger screens and increased seating capacities?

CF100 on August 26, 2018 at 6:00 am


Incidentally, apparently D-BOX motion data has been included on some Blu-Rays, so you can setup a D-BOX seat as part of your home cinema (LOL) — see e.g.

I’m not sure Auditorium 2 as a “PLF” screen has been dropped, it’s just that “IMPACT” isn’t marked on the revised plans. The auditorium still looks like an “IMPACT” in terms of layout, the recliners are a bit more than one screen distance away from the screen the rest is (OK, the sofas row is 2% out according to my estimates!)

I suppose all depends on whether they’ll equip it with top-end projection and Atmos.

Regarding the auditorium sizes, the cinema just isn’t that big. Looking at the proposals, most obviously it would appear that Auditoria 3 / 4 could be combined but that wouldn’t yield the largest auditorium or screen either. Dreaming up more radical reconfigurations is easy, but the practicability of them is unknown given possible structural, access and fire escape constraints.

I guess nowadays having more auditoria and therefore a wider range of programming takes precedence over having fewer auditoria with larger screens and increased seating capacities?

As I understand it, seating fill (occupancy) rates actually go down as more screens are added. Hence, one strategy is to have medium to large (or premium format inc. 4DX/D-BOX) auditoria programmed with new releases, and then “move over” to smaller auditoria, rather than having lots of medium sized screens. (Small/medium/large is rather vague, I know, but I think you can figure out what I’m getting at!) Obviously, this is aided by digital which makes “move overs” trivial as well as allowing for “boothless” auditoria.

The development of a smaller multiplex in Poole would seem to make more sense rather than another megaplex?

daniels3d on January 22, 2019 at 12:26 am

It is now 16 screens, because the 2 bottom Studio Screens are now a Starbucks.

HarlequinKing96 on September 21, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Screen X was added on April 5th 2019.

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