An east London borough has lost its only cinema in East London after the chain running it went bust.

Empire Cinema in Walthamstow has announced that it has shut down permanently as of Friday (July 7) after the chain went into administration.

Opened in 2014, the multiplex is one of six across the UK run by the company facing the axe.

Covid lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 and the following slump in the number of cinema-goers have reportedly hit the chain’s revenues hard.

Empire Cinemas chief executive officer Justin Ribbons said in a press release that it has been a “difficult economic environment for any business to manage through without long term damage".

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He added: “Cinema attendance levels have not yet returned to pre-COVID-19 levels and the operating environment remains extremely challenging."

Having exhausted all other options to save the business, he said, this decision will help them preserve their other cinemas.

Any tickets booked for shows post Friday using a debit/credit/gift card will be automatically refunded, he added.

My London has reported that over 150 jobs will be lost due to the closures across the country. The staff, it said, were all sacked with just two hours notice.