Odeon

100, including 12 closed, 2 closed and reopened and 10 sold

Private equity group Cinven had acquired 90 'traditional' High Street cinemas in the former ABC circuit from Virgin, in an assisted management buy-out, for £68m in May 1996. The 'new ABC' subsequently opened five multiplexes.

On 21 February 2000, Cinven purchased the Odeon circuit, for £280m, from Rank. (The Odeon circuit had been founded in 1930 by Oscar Deutsch. When he died the circuit was acquired, in 1941, by J. Arthur Rank. The brand was extensively revamped in 1998 with the introduction of the current signage and the “Fanatical About Film” slogan.) Cinven retained the Odeon brand, renaming the ABC multiplexes.

In March 2003 the combined circuit was purchased by a consortium of German investment bank WestLB, Entertainment distributors and financier Robert Tchenguiz, for £431m.

In March 2004, the other two partners expressed an interest in purchasing WestLB’s 43% stake, but could not agree a business strategy. Subsequently, on 2 September 2004 Odeon Equity Co. Ltd was acquired for an estimated £400m by Terra Firma Investments (GP) 2 Ltd, a subsidiary of Terra Firma Capital Partners, headed by British financier Guy Hands.

On 28 October 2004 United Cinemas International (UK) Ltd and Cinema International Corporation (UK) Ltd, who jointly operated the UCI circuit, were acquired by Terra Firma Capital Partners for an estimated £182m. (The UK’s first multiplex operator was American Multi-Cinemas. In December 1988 AMC was taken over by a partnership of Cinema International Corporation (a joint venture between Paramount and Universal) and the American United Artists theatre chain under the name of United Cinemas International. AMC projects at West Thurrock and Poole, and CIC projects at Solihull and Bayswater, opened under the UCI brand.

Later a joint venture between Viacom Inc (Paramount’s parent company) and Vivendi Universal, UCI had links to the Showcase circuit, which is owned and operated by National Amusements Inc, parent company to Viacom. UCI managed two sites, at Northampton and Scunthorpe, on behalf of Texas-based Cinemark International, when that company pulled out of the UK. These were purchased by Vue in April 2004.) Cinemas branded as thefilmworks, a UCI subsidiary brand self-styled as "the next generation cinema", were sold or re-branded Odeon. The merger of the two large circuits was not referred to the Competition Commission when Terra Firma agreed to divest 11 cinemas. A slightly revised 11 (including 7 multiplexes) were subsequently sold to Ward Anderson [Empire Cinemas] for €80m (approximately £52m) in October 2005.

In May 2006 Odeon reacquired the AMC/UCI cinema at The Point, Milton Keynes, which had been leased to easyJet entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou, from 23 May 2003, when he attempted to build up a budget, no-frills circuit. In October 2006 a multiplex was opened at the Dickens World attraction in Chatham’s Maritime Quarter. Although owned by the theme park, the cinema is operated by, and branded as, Odeon.

In April 2008 Odeon entered into an agreement with Entertainment Enterprises Group to manage and operate the five cinemas that EEG had acquired from Irish-based Storm Cinemas. This included Storm’s former Warner Village in Belfast but it is not known whether it will be re-branded as Odeon, so it is listed separately under Entertainment Enterprises Group.

By December 2009 there were IMAX screens in the cinemas at Cardiff Bay, Gateshead, Greenwich, Manchester and Wimbledon. During December(?) 2009 the former UCI in the Gateshead Metro Centre closed and was replaced by a new Odeon multiplex elsewhere in the shopping centre.

In July 2011 Odeon acquired four cinemas, at Crewe and Newark (multiplexes) and Loughborough and Andover, and pipeline multiplex sites at Swadlincote and West Bromwich , from Reel Cinemas. In August 2012 the AMC at Broadway Plaza, Birmingham was acquired.

In July 2013 the multiplex at Dickens World, in Chatham that had, since opening, been managed by Odeon, was acquired by Odeon from the operators of the theme park. Odeon will invest in new seating, fast track ticket machines and install a Costa Coffee café.

In February 2015 the UK’s first multiplex, at the Point, Milton Keynes, was closed by Odeon when the company opened its new multiplex at the Milton Keynes Stadium.

In March 2015 Odeon opened a new multiplex in the Fort Kinnaird retail and leisure park in Edinburgh. This was part of a £24m redevelopment of the site, which had previously been home to a 12-screen UCI/Odeon that closed in January 2008.

In April 2015 the former Odeon, Capitol Centre, Cardiff, was reopened by Premiere Cinemas (which had also reopened the former Odeon in Romford in July 2012).

On 12 July 2016 the Odeon/UCI Cinema Group was purchased for £921m by AMC Entertainment, the US circuit that had been acquired for $2.6bn in 2012 by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda, led by Wang Jianlin. Terra Firma had tried to sell the Odeon/UCI circuit in 2011, but bids fell short of its £1.2bn valuation. A further attempt at a sale, in 2013, was once again unsuccessful. As a result of the AMC takeover, Odeon had a monopoly in Manchester city centre, so the Printworks multiplex was divested to Vue. That closed as Odeon on 14 May and re-opened as Vue on 25 May

ex-ABC

Edinburgh (Wester Hailes) [8] 17 July 1997
Mansfield [8] 5 December 1997
Rochdale [9] 10 April 1998
Nuneaton [8] (“ABC Superplex”) 26 May 1999
Aylesbury [6] 10 December 1999

opened as Odeon

Stoke-on-Trent[10, inc. 2 added July 1993] 18 October 1989
Hull [10, inc. 2 added July 1995] 5 April 1990
London (Leicester Square Mezzanine) [5] 19 April 1990
Romford [8] 18 July 1990. Closed 5 April 2001; reopened July 2012 as Premiere Cinemas
Ipswich [5] 22 March 1991. Closed 21 August 2005
Cardiff (Capitol) [5] 22 August 1991. Closed 12 August 2001; reopened April 2015 as Premiere Cinemas
Bromborough [7, later 11] 14 November 1991
Sheffield [10, inc. 2 added December 1994 and 1 in December 1997] 5 March 1992
Dundee [6] 25 June 1993. Closed 4 March 2001
Chelmsford [8, inc. 4 added April 1998] 15 October 1993
Taunton [8; inc. 3 added March 2005] 4 August 1994
Hemel Hempstead [8] 25 August 1995. Sold to Empire Cinemas
Lincoln (Tritton Road) [6] 24 November 1995. Closed 7 October 2001
Glasgow [12] 20 September 1996
Southend [8] 22 November 1996
Guildford [9] 12 December 1996
Leicester [12] 18 July 1997
Southampton [13] 21 August 1997
Wrexham (Plas Coch) [7] 4 December 1997. Closed 12 March 2009
Kettering [8] 11 December 1997
Kilmarnock [8] 10 July 1998
Maidstone [8] 18 September 1998
Liverpool (Switch Island) [12] 16 October 1998
Bridgend [9] 10 November 1998
Blackpool [10] 11 December 1998
Tunbridge Wells [9] 5 February 1999
Coventry [9] 22 October 1999
Epsom [8] 10 December 1999
Leeds/Bradford [13] 7 July 2000
Dunfermline [10] 7 July 2000
Uxbridge [9] 9 March 2001
Lincoln (Brayford Pool) [9] 19 October 2001
Dundee [10] 10 November 2001
Colchester [8] 16 October 2002
Kingston-upon-Thames [14] 18 October 2002
Newcastle on Tyne [12] 28 November 2002. Sold to Empire Cinemas
Wimbledon [12] 6 December 2002
Bath [8] 22 October 2004

ex-AMC

Milton Keynes (The Point) [10] 23 November 1985/19 May 2006. Closed 26 February 2015
Gateshead (Metro Centre) [11, inc. 1 screen added in 1994] 14 October 1987. Closed 15 December 2009
Warrington (Westbrook) [10] 25 March 1988
Sheffield (Crystal Peaks) [10] 15 May 1988. Closed 20 March 2003
Clydebank [10] September 1988. Sold to Empire Cinemas
Dudley (Merry Hill) [10] 14 October 1988
Telford [10] 4 November 1988
Derby (Meteor Centre) [10] 1 December 1988

ex-UCI

Thurrock [10] 26 May 1989 [AMC project]. Closed 11 March 2012
Solihull [8] July 1989 [CIC project]. Closed 3 March 2005
Swansea [10] 29 September 1989
East Kilbride [9] October 1989
Bayswater (Whiteleys) [8] 1 December 1989 [CIC project]
Poole [11] 15 December 1989 [AMC project]. Sold to Empire Cinemas
Preston [10] 9 March 1990
Edinburgh (Fort Kinnaird [1]) [12] 13 July 1990. Closed 13 January 2008
Bracknell 20:63 [10] 28 August 1990
Hull [8] 16 November 1990. Closed 1 July 2004
Tamworth [12] 26 June 1991
Hatfield [9] 27 September 1991
Sutton [6] 10 April 1992. Sold to Empire Cinemas
Port Solent [6] December 1992
Edmonton (Lee Valley) [12] 14 March 1994
Cardiff Bay [12; from 2013, 18] October 1997, plus digital IMAX screen from 18 December 2009
Huddersfield [9] 7 November 1997
Basildon [12] 16 July 1998. Sold to Empire Cinemas
Surrey Quays [9] 28 August 1998
Manchester (Trafford Centre) [20] 23 September 1998*
North Shields [9] March 1999
Norwich [14] 26 November 1999
Northampton [10] February 2002 [Cinemark site]. Sold to Vue
Scunthorpe [7] 8 November 2002 [Cinemark site]. Sold to Vue

*This was announced as the UK’s first “Megaplex”. However, Virgin, who had opened “Megaplex” cinemas at Sheffield and Crawley, claimed this would infringe their copyright, which had been registered in 1996.

ex-thefilmworks

High Wycombe (ex-Wycombe 6 [CIC]) [6] 25 July 1987. Sold to Empire Cinemas
Maidenhead [8] 15 Sept. 2000
Manchester (Printworks) [20, later 23] 10 November 2000 Sold to Vue
Greenwich [14] 6 April 2001

ex-Vue

Basingstoke [10] [October 2006]

operated as Odeon / later acquired by Odeon

Chatham (Dickens World) [9] 20 October 2006

opened as Odeon, continued

Glasgow (Braehead) [12] 20 October 2007
Belfast [8] 18 July 2008
Liverpool (ONE) [14] 1 October 2008
Wrexham (Eagles Meadow) [8] 13 March 2009
Gateshead (Metro Centre Garden Walk) [17] 16 December 2009

ex-Reel Cinemas

Crewe [5] [July 2011]
Newark [5] [July 2011]

opened as Odeon (Reel developments), continued

Swadlincote [5] 11 November 2011
West Bromwich [5] 12 July 2013

ex-AMC

Birmingham (Broadway Plaza) [12] [31 August 2012]

opened as Odeon, continued

Llanelli [5] 12 October 2012
Trowbridge [7] 25 October 2013
Hereford [6] 22 May 2014
Milton Keynes (Stadium) [11] 27 February 2015
Edinburgh (Fort Kinnaird [2]) [7] 20 March 2015
Orpington [7] 26 February 2016
Oldham [7] 21 October 2016
Northwich [5] 15 December 2016
Bournemouth [10] 10 February 2017