22 March 2024

Backlot Cinema & Diner complete with super-sized IMAX screen is open for business

Today marks the grand opening of The Backlot Cinema & Diner, located in Houndshill Shopping Centre’s new extension. The unique destination promises to re-define the cinematic experience and bring the very best entertainment to the heart of the local community.

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The multi-screen cinema and diner, a pivotal part of the town’s major regeneration project, will be an experience like no other. The cinematic wonderland will go beyond showcasing the latest Hollywood releases, by offering a diverse selection of films from arthouse titles, family favourites and timeless silver screen classics.

The Backlot boasts Lancashire’s only IMAX® screen and one of the largest in the North West -standing at a gigantic 10.85m tall and 19.87m wide. The location is equipped with IMAX with Laser, IMAX’s most immersive theatrical experience. Immersive by design, IMAX with Laser has been developed from the ground-up to deliver crystal clear, lifelike images and precision audio for a movie-going experience unlike no other.

Timed perfectly for Easter holidays, The Backlot opens its doors with an exciting line-up of new blockbuster releases: Dune: Part Two, 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.

Designed to be a vibrant arts and entertainment hub, The Backlot is equipped with cutting-edge technology to host live gaming tournaments and corporate conferences. There will also be regular events, such as comedy nights, film festivals, diner and movie packages, and local community meet ups, which will ensure that it becomes a cultural focal point for both local residents and Blackpool tourists.

Complementing the big screen, The Backlot’s 100-seater diner will serve fresh burgers, hotdogs and sticky wings, along with a delicious range of desserts, including American-style thick pancakes, indulgent sundaes and thick milkshakes.

Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: 

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“We are delighted to see the brand-new, state-of-the-art cinematic experience open for all to enjoy, and have no doubt it will be popular with people of all ages, from both near and far. The Backlot Cinema and Diner hosts one of the largest IMAX screens in the North West, showcasing blockbuster films through immersive experiences – an offer that is currently unique across Lancashire and great for our town. Blackpool is fast becoming a destination for premium entertainment and events, providing local residents and visitors the opportunity to extend visiting time into the evening with a varied, family friendly offer. 2024 is set to be a landmark year for Blackpool, with a number of key projects reaching completion. The fantastic multi-cinema complex forms part of our wider regeneration plan – to boost the economy, create more opportunities for work and provide a wide-ranging entertainment and leisure offer the whole family can enjoy.”
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The Backlot’s founder and owner, John Sullivan said: 

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"As we unveil The Backlot, our vision is to create not just a cinema but a cultural haven for the Blackpool community. We believe in crafting an immersive experience that goes beyond the screen, inviting our customers to indulge in the magic of cinema with a completely bespoke programme and a delicious diner. The Backlot is a celebration of art, entertainment, and the vibrant spirit of Blackpool. Our brilliant team is ready to deliver a truly exceptional 5-star experience, where every visit will be a feast for the senses."
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Yesterday, The Backlot hosted a private VIP IMAX film screening for competition winner, Dan Gore from Blackpool. Dan was selected at random from hundreds of entries to be the first person ever to experience IMAX in Blackpool. He was treated to an exclusive showing in the 264-seater IMAX screen - a whole day before it was open to the public.

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Competition winner, Dan Gore, was the first person ever to experience IMAX in Blackpool

Giovanni Dolci, Chief Sales Officer at IMAX said:

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“We’re thrilled to unveil the first IMAX location in Lancashire at The Backlot in Blackpool this month. The UK is a top five global box office market for IMAX, and we can’t wait to bring fans in the country an all-new, world-class movie-going experience.”
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The Backlot Cinema & Diner opens its doors in Blackpool today, Friday 22 March 2024. To book tickets, or to learn more head to the Backlot website

VIP membership

Do you live in an FY postcode? The Backlot is offering a VIP membership for Blackpool locals – for only £5 a year, customers can get 20% off all film tickets and 10% off cinema snacks & drinks (terms and conditions apply).

  • VIP membership is only valid for customers who live in an FY postcode
  • Customers must show a valid proof of address (utility bill, driving license, etc.) to be able to redeem offer

This offer is only redeemable in person. Please ask a member of the Backlot Cinema team during your visit.

Follow The Backlot Cinema & Diner on Facebook, Instagram & X.


The Backlot team are working on introducing a parking validation scheme in the very near future, details will follow. 

About the Backlot Cinema & Diner

The Backlot Cinema & Diner is located in the vibrant heart of Blackpool within the new extension of

Houndshill Shopping Centre. Blackpool’s new cinematic wonderland will feature the town’s only IMAX screen with state-of-the-art laser projection and immersive audio. From the latest Hollywood releases to independent gems, event cinema and big screen classics, The Backlot promises a range of cinematic delights.

Complementing the cinematic adventure is The Backlot Diner, offering an all-day menu with delicious burgers, hotdogs, wings, and a selection of desserts, including indulgent pancakes, sundaes, and thick milkshakes. The Backlot Cinema & Diner will provide a unique and immersive entertainment experience for both the local community and visitors.

About IMAX Corporation

IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture, and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you've never imagined.

Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX systems to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, making IMAX's network among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.

As of December 31, 2023, there were 1,772 IMAX systems (1,693 commercial multiplexes, 12 commercial destinations, 67 institutional) operating in 90 countries and territories.


The overall scheme has been facilitated by £5m of funding from the government’s COVID-19 Getting

Building Fund, following formal approval by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in October 2020.

Blackpool Council funded the balance of the scheme through prudential borrowing. Further information about the Getting Building Fund

Houndshill Shopping Centre extension

The completed Phase 2 scheme will deliver:

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