It's eight years since the old Empire cinema in Ealing shut its doors – and work has finally begun on its replacement, due to open in 2019.
The new eight-screen, 1000-seat cinema will sit on the same site as the old Art Deco Empire and will be the latest addition to the Picturehouse chain of cinemas, which include the West End's Picturehouse Central, the Hackney Picturehouse and the Ritzy in Brixton.
The Ealing Picturehouse is part of the redevelopment of Ealing's New Broadway site, a project that will create a new centre for shops, offices and apartments, all designed to coincide with the arrival of Crossrail in the area.
Plans have been afoot for the venue for several years now, but builders finally started work on Monday after new developers took over the project.
In film terms, the area is most famous for the legendary Ealing Studios which produced such great British comedies as 'The Lavender Hill Mob', 'Kind Hearts and Coronets' and 'The Ladykillers' – so we'd be amazed if the new cinema didn't somehow run with an Ealing Studios theme. We're putting money on them naming the main space the Alec Guinness Auditorium or something similar.
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