On 26th June, 1937 the Empire Cinema in Sandwich opened it's doors for the first time. The films chosen for the original opening performance were "TRUST THE NAVY" starring Lupino Lane and "CRAIG'S WIFE" starring Rosalind Russell as well as a coloured rhapsody plus the Gaumont Bristish News. The cinema was described as a modern, up to date and luxurious building situated in a prominent position near to the Guildhall in the centre of the town. The auditorium was of spacious design seating 600 people in total in the circle and stalls areas.
Now the cinema, which re-opened in 1993, is operational in the former circle section of the building and has still retained the art deco architecture and can accommodate 130 people. The auditorium has been completely re-seated with more comfortable and luxurious seats and the original decorative neon lighting has been restored to the frontage of the theatre.
The latest digital projection equipment has been installed with Dolby digital sound. This will now enable the cinema to obtain and screen the latest film releases in this new improved format. In addition, it is planned to present cultural live shows of opera, ballet and theatre content on a regular basis in 2014. The arrival of digital cinema will provide our audience with a wide choice of entertainment with the added enjoyment of enhanced viewing.
The Lounge section is situated in the original stalls area and has been refurbished with comfortable chairs and tables and a maple dance floor installed in front of the cinema stage. A fully licensed bar is now available in the Lounge. A popular attraction in this area has been the monthly classic cinema presentations.
Visit this unique attractive art deco cinema and enjoy the best in film entertainment in comfort and pleasant surroundings. There is a large car park nearby with no evening charges and seats are bookable for all performances.
For programme information and seat reservations please phone 01304 620480.