The former Empire cinema in Swindon could soon have a new lease of life.

The screening rooms have fallen silent and the large lobby has been bare since the Greenbridge Retail Park site shut in July.

But, after weeks of uncertainty about the film hub's future, it appears that a rival chain will now be taking over and reopening the multiplex and IMAX.

On Monday, a new notice appeared on the front entrance of the building, next to the previous posters which say that the cinema has closed and that the landlord hopes to re-let the premise.

This new notice is for an application for the granting of a premises licence for Vue Cinemas, which is looking to add Swindon to its portfolio of more than 90 cinemas around the UK.

Swindon Advertiser: A notice of an application for the grant of a premises licence at the former Swindon Empire cinema.A notice of an application for the grant of a premises licence at the former Swindon Empire cinema. (Image: Dave Cox)

Vue Entertainment Limited has applied to Swindon Borough Council for the grant of a premises licence in respect of premises which will be known as Vue Cinema on Unit 21, Greenbridge Retail Park, Swindon.

The proposed licensable activities include the performance and exhibition of films, plays, dance, and live and recorded music indoors 24 hours a day and seven days a week, as well as the provision of late night refreshments indoors between 11pm and 5am, and the sale of alcohol from 9am to 3am daily.

These house and licensable activities are the same as those permitted by an existing premises licence at this cinema, so the new application is likely to be approved.

Anyone wishing to make representations about details in this application should write to Licensing, Swindon Borough Council, Wat Tyler House, Beckhampton Street, Swindon, SN1 2JH or email before November 3, 2023.

It is an offence to knowingly or recklessly make a false statement in connection with an application. Anyone convicted of making a false statement is liable to an unlimited fine.

The Swindon Empire closed in early July after the company that owned it collapsed into administration due to a lack of income during the pandemic, low attendance levels post-Covid, rising inflation, and soaring costs.

The film hub ceased trading at such short notice that customers turned up in the morning for their pre-booked screenings still expecting business as usual.

Administrators BDO are currently overseeing the sales of the Empire sites that remained open but told the Adver last month that they are not responsible for the seven that suddenly shut, and the retail park's landlords would not comment on the situation.

The Adver has approached Vue for comment.