Omniplex Ipswich

Buttermarket and St Stephen's Lane,
Ipswich, IP1 1DT

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Omniplex Cinemas (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Omniplex Cinemas

Previously operated by: Empire Cinemas UK

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Previous Names: Empire Cinema Ipswich

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Advert from when cinema opened

The Empire Cinema, Ipswich, opened on Friday 31st March 2017, in the recently renovated Butter Market Shopping Centre. The cinema features 14 screens. The largest screens (Impact: Luxu and Impact: Blue) both feature Dolby Atmos Sound. There are also 2 D-BOX screens (screens 13 and 14). The seating ranges from 293 to 44 seats. Most screens seat around 50 people.

The cinema is only the second cinema in the UK to have all screens equipped with laser projectors. All the screens have luxury seating as standard, but there are also 2 seater sofas (for a small additional charge) and reclining chairs in the 2 largest screens. The Empire Cinemas UK chain went into administration on 6th July 2023. They kept the Ipswich cinema open. On 4th December 2023 the Ireland based Omniplex Cinemas Group took over Empire Cinemas UK and the Ipswich cinema was renamed Omniplex Ipswich.

Contributed by Paul Arch

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

LARGE_screen_format on June 11, 2018 at 5:50 pm

Thanks @CF100 for that info.

Why are cinemas in the UK lagging behind with new technology available elsewhere in Europe and the U.S.? Dolby Vision and Auro 11.1 being just two examples.

CF100 on June 12, 2018 at 6:35 am


As I alluded to in my previous post, I don’t think a lack of Auro 11.1 locations is overly concerning as it’s superseded and Atmos rollout is ongoing.

From my point of view, there are 3 Atmos locations within 20 minutes' drive of where I reside, plus getting to the West End is also trivial, even if in recent years finding the time (to go to any cinema) hasn’t been!

Regarding Dolby Vision, I’d guess there are political factors, pre-existing contracts, and so on to consider.

For example, Vue uses Sony projectors in all auditoria, save for IMAX, and it’s only fairly recently that they’ve commissioned IMAX screens themselves, the first being at Cheshire Oaks (2015.)

Dolby Vision might gain more traction in the UK now that Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group has been acquired by AMC; I think it might have a UK launch at the remodelled Odeon Leicester Square.

Alas, I’m sorry to say that I can’t provide a more definitive answer than the above, but clearly operators are investing in UK sites.

P.S. You might like to read a feature on LED direct view cinema screens in Cinema Technology Today.

LARGE_screen_format on August 5, 2018 at 6:09 am

Unless I’m mistaken IMPACT Luxe at Empire, Ipswich is the largest IMPACT screen within the Empire Cinemas chain at 19.5m x 8.2m (that’s even larger than the old screen 1 at Empire, LSQ which was 18.2m x 7.68m). This coupled with Barco laser projectors and Dolby Atmos sound puts in the flagship cinema category imo.

IMPACT Blue is quite a bit smaller at 12.4m x 6.7m

MovieGeek2013 on August 6, 2018 at 4:06 pm

The impact Luxe is their flagship screen, but although it is atmos equipped the sound is a little tiny as the screen is very much a black box in a building that was originally a clothes store and not designed to house cinema screens. The speakers also seem to not be a high end brand. The projectors are very low and as a result a lot of shadows appear on screen from people moving about.

CF100 on September 3, 2018 at 4:15 am

MovieGeek2013: Thanks for posting your observations on the cinema.

Looking through the virtual tour on Empire Cinemas' site:

  • The speakers in the IMPACT auditoria are Christie’s Vive brand—LA series surrounds/overheads—line arrays with ribbon tweeters—and S series rear subwoofers.

  • The rear rows of seats in the IMPACT auditoria are very close to the false ceilings. Would have been better if Empire hadn’t jammed in the last couple of rows of seats?

  • Looking at the virtual tour of the IMPACT auditoria at Empire Sutton, these also appear to have the same issue? Seems to be a design decision rather than the Ipswich location being built within the shell of a former department store.

Might be worth a visit off-peak to avoid the projection obstruction issue?!

LARGE_screen_format on September 3, 2018 at 10:47 am

Ticket pricing is good value at this cinema. Mon-Thurs £6.95 and Fri-Sun £7.95. IMPACT in a ‘superior standard’ seat is only £7.95 which is a bargain!

PhilipWW on September 3, 2018 at 11:28 am

From what I read on the cinema website and from the comments below, I gather: Screen 1 Impact Luxe is a 2.39 Scope screen at 19.5 by 8.2 Screen 2 Impact Blue is a 1.85 Flat screen at 12.4 by 6.7

With the majority of films now filmed in Scope, it seems an extraordinary decision to build one of the major screens as 1.85 Flat requiring Scope films to be letterboxed. This just makes it a glorified TV set.

Any idea whether the other screens are Scope or Flat ?

LARGE_screen_format on September 3, 2018 at 11:41 am

I felt the same when watching Ready Player One on an Xtreme screen at Vue, Westfield Shepherd’s Bush. A good portion of the height of the screen is lost to letterboxing when watching a movie filmed in scope and almost seems pointless paying the extra for Xtreme over a standard non-Xtreme screen that may have a scope screen and possibly wider image.

CF100 on September 3, 2018 at 9:32 pm

PhilipWW: You can have a look at some of the other screens in the virtual tour on Empire Cinemas' site.

Just had a look at the auditorium information page—I see that most of the auditoria are on the small size.

Empire Cinemas also seem to have made a slight error on that page:

“Screen 6: 70 Seats 105 Superior Standard Seats 5 Double Sofas 6 Leather Recliners Wheelchair Spaces x 2”

Spot their mistake! ;–)

PhilipWW on September 5, 2018 at 12:05 pm

I looked at their virtual tour presentation. It confirmed that of the two Impact auditoria Screen 1 has a Scope screen whilst Screen 2 has a Flat screen.

It also showed one of the smaller screens (Screen 8) which has Scope screen with no masking.

The two small D-Box screens (14 seats in each) were also shown. These both had Flat screens. It also showed that the Exit door in both was right next to the screen which hardly seems like a good design, perhaps unavoidable as this was a conversion of an old building. Then with just 14 seats each I don’t much it matters much where the door is.

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