Sunderland cinema to remain closed after fire sees 200 evacuated

Owners of the Sunderland Empire Cinema say its doors remain shut today after a fire caused 200 customers and staff to be evacuated last night.

Cinema-goers were ushered out after the small blaze broke out at the multiplex in Lambton Street at about 6.30pm last night.

Sunderland's Empire Cinema

Sunderland's Empire Cinema

Fire fighters were dispatched after the fire alarm went off and the crew swiftly dealt with the blaze.

Empire Cinemas issued a statement this morning saying the multiplex would remain shut, however, and customers with bookings will be reimbursed.

A spokeswoman said: "Shortly before 6.30pm yesterday the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service attended Empire Cinemas Sunderland following a fire alarm.

"A small electrical fire was located in the battery room and extinguished by two firefighters utilising CO2 extinguishers. A full evacuation was carried out in accordance with the cinema procedures and the fire was quickly put out. The fire brigade left the site at approximately 20:30, after confirming the site was safe for staff to re-enter.

"Just over 200 customers and staff were successfully evacuated in accordance with Empire Cinemas planned fire procedure. There are no casualties.

"All customers ho were evacuated from Empire Cinemas Sunderland yesterday and customers with existing bookings will be fully reimbursed. Empire Cinemas will announce the re-opening date in due course."