New name for the old British International Pictures from the early ’30s onward. Legendary productions include Brighton Rock, Ice Cold in Alex and The Dam Busters. Creamguide favourites include School for Scoundrels, the Hancock films, and Whacko! spin-off Bottoms Up. Empire included Transocean films (qv), Elstree Studios, ABC cinemas and Thames TV. Went bust in ’68 and was bought up by EMI. Richard Harris was a notable name on their books. Offered Audrey Hepburn a seven-year contract on the strength of her delivery of her one and only line in top Alistair Sim legacycom Laughter in Paradise – “Who wants a ciggy?” She graciously declined.