Backlot - New IMAX Cinema in Blackpool!

Backlot – New IMAX Cinema in Blackpool!

Welcome to Backlot – new IMAX Cinema in Blackpool – which opened the doors on Friday 22 March 2024!

It promises to re-define the cinematic experience and bring the very best entertainment to the heart of the local community. The multi-screen cinema and diner, a pivotal part of the town’s major regeneration project, is an experience like no other. Going beyond showcasing the latest Hollywood releases, offering a diverse selection of films from arthouse titles, family favourites and timeless silver screen classics.

Welcome to Backlot – New IMAX Cinema Opens in Blackpool!

The Backlot Cinema & Diner opened the doors on Friday 22nd March 2024. Located in Houndshill Shopping Centre’s new extension, the cinema & diner brings the very best entertainment to the heart of the Blackpool community. The cinematic wonderland features Blackpool’s only IMAX screen and one of the largest in the North West.

l-r: John Sullivan - the Big Picture, Cllr Lynn Williams - Leader of Blackpool Council, Cllr Mark Smith - Blackpool Council Member for Levelling Up Place and Fabio Vindotti - Backlot Cinema
l-r: John Sullivan – the Big Picture, Cllr Lynn Williams – Leader of Blackpool Council, Cllr Mark Smith – Blackpool Council Member for Levelling Up Place and Fabio Vindotti – Backlot Cinema


Tickets are on sale now to experience Denis Villeneuve’s much-anticipated sequel, Dune: Part Two from 22nd March in the cinema’s premier IMAX screen.

Timed perfectly for Easter holidays, the exciting line-up of new blockbuster releases includes Ghostbusters and Godzilla X Kong. There are also screenings of films such as Barbie, Oppenheimer and Wonka that were released during the last ten months when the town has been without a multi-screen cinema.

At The Backlot you’ll be able to experience the latest Hollywood releases, arthouse titles, event cinema and past big screen favourites. The Easter holidays will be a cinematic feast, with big screen hits such as Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, Kung Fu Panda 4 and special 60th anniversary screening of Mary Poppins.

More tickets to The Backlot’s exciting selection of events and films will go on sale over the coming weeks.

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What’s New at Backlot – the new IMAX Cinema in Blackpool

The Backlot is designed to create a unique arts and entertainment hub – for the local community and Blackpool visitors. It will be the new place in town to host events, from corporate conferences and birthday parties to comedy nights, live gaming tournaments and local community meet ups. Whatever the occasion, The Backlot will offer something beyond your wildest expectations! Complementing the big screen, The Backlot’s 100-seater diner will serve fresh burgers, hotdogs and wings, along with a delicious range of desserts. Including American style pancakes, indulgent sundaes and thick milkshakes.

The Backlot will bring an unrivalled experience to the town. From the delicious diner, to the big screen cinema, the exceptional event calendar and the five-star service that will be part of every visit. IMAX and The Backlot Cinema & Diner will be a major draw for residents and visitors to the town centre. For the town centre to prosper we must continue to provide new reasons to attract residents and visitors. This is creating entertainment and leisure choices the whole family can enjoy.

Book your tickets

More information and tickets available to purchase here

About Backlot Cinema, Diner and More

The Backlot Cinema is the anchor tenant of the Phase 2 extension Houndshill Shopping Centre. It’s bringing nine screens and a total of 850 luxury seats to the heart of Blackpool town centre.

New IMAX - Backlot Cinema comes to Blackpool!

The screen is a whopping 10.85m high and 19.87m wide and equipped with IMAX with Laser – the company’s most advanced theatrical experience. Immersive by design, IMAX with Laser was developed from the ground-up. It delivers crystal clear, lifelike images and precision audio for a moviegoing experience unlike anything else!

From the latest Hollywood releases to independent gems, event cinema and big screen classics, The Backlot promises a range of cinematic delights throughout the year.

Backlot Diner

Tourists and locals will enjoy something different to eat at the Backlot Diner. Open for all day dining it will have a classic yet contemporary menu, including great shakes and crafty cocktails. Choose from the all-day menu with delicious burgers, hotdogs, wings, and a selection of desserts, including indulgent pancakes, sundaes, and thick milkshakes!

An E-Sports hub is being created within the cinema, as a major part of the cinema offer. It will include an annual event bringing around 5,000 competitors to Blackpool, while a mini film festival will showcase local talent.

intentions were for the 22,500 sq ft retail space in the Phase 2 extension to be a Wilko store. Time will tell who (and what kind of business) will now occupy it!

Visual of inside the cinema

More About IMAX Corporation

IMAX is an innovator in entertainment technology. It combines proprietary software, architecture, and equipment to create experiences to take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you’ve never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios use IMAX theaters to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways. So the IMAX network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe. 

IMAX has headquarters in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with additional offices in London, Dublin, Tokyo, and Shanghai. As of 30 September 2023, there were 1,731 IMAX systems (1,651 commercial multiplexes, 12 commercial destinations, 68 institutional) operating in 87 countries and territories.

Plus one in Blackpool!

Building Blackpool’s IMAX Cinema

Blackpool Council bought Houndshill Shopping Centre in November 2019 for £47.6m as part of its strategy for regeneration in the town centre. The acquisition secured the future of the centre and enabled the Phase Two development to get underway.

The main construction contract at Houndshill Shopping Centre began with ground-breaking on Friday 24 September 2021.

Extending Houndshill Shopping Centre - Work gets Underway
Picture: Martin Bostock. Ground breaking at Phase 2 of Blackpool’s Houndshill redevelopment.

Groundworks began first and for what seemed like a long while contractors built the foundations. Once the steelwork started it seemed to fly up and quickly the new building filled the space. Week by week the form of the building took shape.

There’s more about extending the Houndshill Shopping Centre here

Signing the Contracts

The announcement came in August 2022 that Blackpool’s new cinema complex will feature one of the largest IMAX screens in the country – a massive 10.8m tall screen!

New IMAX Cinema in Blackpool
Signing contracts for the new IMAX Cinema in Blackpool

With IMAX signed up to deliver state-of-the-art, immersive movie experiences the next announcement was the name. The new multi-screen development will be called Backlot Cinema. And Backlot Cinema founder John Sullivan has confirmed his £6m investment in the scheme. He said, “The backlot of a film studio is at the heart of the filmmaking process. It’s where the action really happens – where creativity is allowed to flourish. It seemed an entirely appropriate name for this thrilling entertainment hub. We couldn’t be more excited to be bringing it to this vibrant town.”

Alessandra Pavan Bernacchi is Vice President of Theatre Development at IMAX. He said “We’re thrilled that this ambitious project will bring the IMAX experience to new audiences in the area.” Adding “We’re excited for moviegoers who’ll be able to experience the latest blockbuster films in this new state-of-the-art IMAX theatre. It’s sure to become a destination for premium entertainment and events in the community.”

The completed Phase 2 scheme will deliver:

  • Over 100 jobs created both directly through the scheme and locally
  • 0.5 acres of brownfield land developed
  • 76,500 sq. ft. of new commercial floorspace
  • Approx. over 260 construction jobs created over the build period  
  • Increase of 1.2m shoppers and visitors to the Houndshill Shopping Centre

More reasons to visit Blackpool Town Centre

Cllr Lynn Williams is Leader of Blackpool Council. She said, “We’re delighted to welcome IMAX and Backlot Cinema to the Houndshill Shopping Centre. It will be a major draw for residents and visitors.

“For the town centre to prosper we must continue to provide new reasons to attract resident and visitors. We need to extend the time of visits into the evening with more entertainment and leisure choices for all the family. The new multi-media cinema complex will also provide something brand new for our residents. It’s combining a state-of-the-art cinematic experience with the availability of new flexible creative spaces. Many artists and businesses will also be able to benefit from them too.”

The scheme is costing £20m overall. It’s been facilitated by £5m of funding from the Government’s COVID-19 Getting Building Fund. (Approved by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in October 2020). Blackpool Council will fund the balance of the scheme through prudential borrowing.

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1 thought on “Backlot – New IMAX Cinema in Blackpool!”

  1. The screen will actually be almost 20 metres wide (10.8 metres high).
    It’s expected to open in around 12 months from now.

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