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In the news: First look at town centre cinema as site handed over to Empire

Residents are given their first glimpse at the interior of a new 10-screen cinema in East Square, Basildon, as the site is formally handed over from construction contractor McLaren to Empire Cinemas.

Empire Cinema - artist impression of interior 001
Empire Cinema - artist impression of interior 002
 Councillors and senior officers of Basildon Council joined representatives from the two organisations to oversee the handover as work begins on the interior design ahead of Spring 2022 opening.

Once complete, the cinema's largest screen will hold 500 cinemagoers, with nine other screens showing the latest films, plus luxury seating and lounge areas. These new images, provided by Empire Cinemas, provide a first look at the designs for some of the interior spaces of the cinema.

Cllr Anthony Hedley, Chairman of the Regeneration and Economic Development Committee said: "Now the majority of work will move inside it's exciting to get a glimpse of what the new spaces will look like. There's a real luxury feel to these spaces.

"We want East Square to become a real destination of choice for residents, and this complex will be a place where residents can shop, dine and see the latest films. McLaren have done a great job creating an iconic building for Basildon town centre and it is great to see the East Square scheme coming together."

The East Square cinema and restaurants scheme is being led by Basildon Council and will see the creation of a night-time economy and dozens of jobs for local people.

Recently, Basildon Council announced that Loungers - a popular café/bar chain - will become the first restaurant to join the new East Square scheme. Work will shortly begin on the Loungers site, one of six units breathing new life into Basildon town centre. Hospitality, comfort and familiarity remains at the core of Loungers' offering, driven by an independent culture and focus on the local community.