Empire of Light

Empire of Light


Regular Admission Prices

Passes not accepted 12/16 - 12/29

Set in an English seaside town in the early 1980s, Empire of Light is a powerful and poignant story about human connection and the magic of cinema from Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes (1917), starring Academy Award-winner Olivia Coleman (The Favourite). It’s 1981, and Hilary (Coleman), a woman with a difficult past and an uneasy present, is part of a makeshift family at the old Empire Cinema on the seafront. Hilary and her colleagues (a stellar ensemble cast including Colin Firth and Toby Jones) are sprucing up their picture palace in preparation for a regional premiere of Chariots of Fire. When a young Black man named Stephen (Micheal Ward) is hired to work at the theatre, he and Hilary form a quick and unusual connection. As Hillary struggles to conceal her mental health issues and Stephen grapples with the racism rampant in 1980s England, the two lean on one another for kindness and support, but their relationship, like the Empire Cinema itself, cannot last forever, and soon the pair must face the reality of their differing futures. Gorgeously shot by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins, Empire of Light is a love letter to the people who come together under the glow of the cinema, and to the beautiful tales they take away for the rest of their lives. (Dir. by Sam Mendes, 2022, UK/USA, 119 mins., Rated R)


Closed Captions and Audio Descriptions Available.

1 HR 55 MIN | R

Released 2022
Empire of Light Trailer Trailer
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