Sobeys is getting out of the movie business.

The parent company that owns both Sobeys and Empire Theatres, Empire Company Ltd., announced on Thursday that it will sell 24 of its Atlantic Canadian Empire Theatres to Cineplex Incorporated, including the historic Oxford theatre in Halifax.

The company said it is keeping control of the drive-in in Westville, but said they expect to sell the property.

"It’s really in keeping with our strategic direction that Empire has to focus resources on our food retail business, through Sobeys and our related real estate investment," said vice-president Andrew Walker.

Nationally, Empire company Ltd. will also sell almost all of its theatres in Ontario and the western provinces.

The Cineplex deal is worth $200 million. Walker expects it to close in August.