Forest Cinema

276 High Street,
London, E17 7FD

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Additional Info

Operated by: PDJ Management Ltd.

Previously operated by: Empire Cinemas UK

Firms: Pollard Thomas Edwards

Previous Names: Empire Walthamstow

Nearby Theaters

Forest Cinema

The Empire Cinema was opened on 20th November 2014, and was the first multiplex to be built specifically for the Empire Cinemas chain (their previous cinemas had been takeovers from other chains). Located in the basement of the award winning ‘The Scene’ leisure & housing complex at the Hoe Street end of High Street. It features an IMPACT screen. It was closed on July 6, 2023 due to Empire Cinemas going into administration. During closure the cinema was broken into by squatters and considerable damage was done.

It was announced on 12th April 2024 that Waltham Forest Council who own the building, had granted a 25-year lease to PDJ Management Ltd, who operate the Premier Cinema in Romford and several others. They plan to refurbish and reopen in summer 2024 and will be renamed Forest Cinema. The VIP bar will be transformed into an Alfred Hitchcock themed bar (The famed film director was born in nearby High Street, Leytonstone).

It is located adjacent to, and around the corner to the currently closed EMD Cinema (ex Granada Theatre) which is a Grade II* Listed building and currently is being renovated in a performance centre named Soho Theatre Walthamstow, to reopen in 2025 (it has its own page on Cinema Treasures).

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

DavidSimpson on December 8, 2014 at 9:56 am

This brand new multiplex – the first to be constructed by the Empire circuit (which has hitherto been built up from existing cinemas that had to be divested, following circuit takeovers, under competition rules) – is situated in the basement of a high-rise development called The Scene at Cleveland Place, which also provides apartments, retail and restaurant spaces. A small entrance hall leads to steps down to the basement foyer and concession area.

The capacities of the nine screens are: 1: IMPACT large format screen, with 3D capability and 170 seats in total, including a separate VIP seating area; 2: 54 seats; 3: 101 seats (3D); 4: 101 seats (3D); 5: 85 seats; 6: 79 seats; 7: 101 seats (3D); 8: 96 seats and 9: 309 seats in total (including VIP seating area and 3D).

In a nice touch, there are two stand-alone cabinets on the street outside which contain film information posters.

Billy on April 4, 2015 at 11:05 pm

£3.95 tickets for most films on a Tuesday makes this easily one of the least expensive cinemas in the London area as of April 2015.

HJHill on June 18, 2022 at 5:12 pm

There was an Empire cinema at ‘Bell Corner’ Wlathamstow.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 19, 2022 at 7:26 am

The Empire Cinema at Bell Corner, Walthamstow is listed on Cinema Treasures on its own page as the Tatler Cinema Club.

HJHill on June 21, 2022 at 4:39 am

I see the (cataloguing) logic, but it’s a shame that most readers will regard this multiples as Walthamstow’s only/original Empire.

FB on July 7, 2023 at 9:16 am

Now closed due to Empire entering administration as of yesterday.

FB on November 12, 2023 at 9:32 am

It appears squatters have caused substantial damage to the cinema since closing:

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