A council has recovered possession of a new Empire Cinemas complex after the firm collapsed into administration.
Basildon Council built and owns the building in East Square and it was due to open to customers this summer.
However, Empire Cinemas Group (UK) Limited, which was due to operate the site, entered administration on 7 July.
A council spokesman said it had forfeited the lease, adding a "number of parties" had already registered an interest in running the complex.
Conservative leader at Basildon Council, Andrew Baggott, said: "It's so important to me that we protect the taxpayer's investment in this development and bring about a swift resolution to the uncertainty."
BDO was appointed the main administrator for the company in July and six cinemas that were already operating were closed immediately.