How to Watch ‘Empire of Light': Is the Olivia Colman Romance Streaming?

As festival flicks finally make their way to big screens, romance drama “Empire of Light” is a must-see this holiday season.

Hailing from Oscar-winning “American Beauty” and “Skyfall” director Sam Mendes, the film centers on the Empire, a movie palace that lights up a quiet British coastal town. The Empire employs Hilary (Olivia Colman) and her boss, Mr. Ellis (Colin Firth) who have been having an illicit affair.

While Hilary’s struggles with mental health — which has not been helped by her relationship with Mr. Ellis — a refreshing outsider enters the picture and promises hope for the future.

If the film’s nostalgia getting you excited about the moviegoing experience, here’s everything you need to know about how to watch “Empire of Light.”

Is “Empire of Light” streaming or in theaters?

“Empire of Light” opens exclusively in theaters on Dec. 9, but only in select theaters. Check your local listings.

While a streaming release date has not yet been revealed, since this is a Searchlight Pictures release we can reasonably expect the film to be streaming on Hulu and/or HBO Max within the next few months. Prior to that, the movie will be released on Digital.

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‘Empire of Light’ Review: Sam Mendes’ Love Letter to Cinema Lacks Focus

What is “Empire of Light” about?

Set in the 1980s, the film follows Hilary, the Empire’s duty manager, whose life has been anything but easy. Having recently returned from spending time in a mental hospital, she has an affair with her boss, Mr. Ellis, and continues to struggle with her mental health alone.

When Stephen, a young man full of life, begins working at the movie palace, his warmth and kindness is a welcome guest for Hilary, and the pair start a friendship that slowly turns into something more.

Oscar-winning “1917,” “Skyfall” and “Blade Runner 2049” cinematographer Roger Deakins shot the film, which also features a new original score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Who is in the “Empire of Light” cast?

Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward and Colin Firth star in the film alongside Toby Jones, Tom Brooke, Tanya Moodie and Hannah Onslow. Other notable additions to the cast include Crystal Clarke, Monica Dolan,
Ron Cook and Sara Stewart.

Watch the trailer: