Other Multiplex Operators

Movie House (3)

Circuit founded by Michael McAdam. In addition to its own developments, Movie House has acquired the UGC (ex-MGM/Virgin) multiplex in Belfast city centre. In October 2009 the circuit was the first in the UK to drop its premium charge for 3D films. The group also does not charge a booking fee for on-line or telephone bookings, or a higher price for weekend screenings.
Glengormley [5, later 6] September1990
Belfast (Yorkgate Shopping Centre, later Cityside) [8, later 14] 30 September 1992
Belfast (City Centre) [10] [22 December 2003]

Curley’s (2, both closed)

This independent Northern Irish supermarket retailer, founded in 1969 in a tiny corner shop by Hugh Kennedy, opened multiplexes in two of its retail centres.The Oaks Centre at Dungannon opened in 1985, but its cinema, operated by local businessmen Phil McGrenahan and Alan Latimor through their company Global Cinemas Inc, was not added until after a major investment in 1999. Meanwhile,the Kennedy Centre had opened in West Belfast, in 1991, complete from the start with its multiplex cinema. However, in 2010 this cinema was demolished during a major reconstruction of the Kennedy Centre. The replacement eight screen cinema was built by Ward Anderson and opened under their Omniplex brand. In November 2014 the Global suddenly closed, despite investing in new digital projectors in 2013. It was subsequently acquired by the Omniplex Group. After a comprehensive refurbishment, it re-opened in March 2016 as an Omniplex cinema.
Belfast (Cineplex) [5] 18 May 1991 Closed spring 2010
Dungannon (Global) [6] May 2000 Closed 13 November 2014.

MovieShack Cinemas (1)

The Peckham Premier was opened by Network Cinemas, who also operated the Richmond Film House and the Greenwich Cinema. The company went into liquidation in 2003.Chris Green, owner of the Regal, Cromer, bought the cinema and reopened it in May 2003 as the Peckham Multiplex, later the Peckham Plex. His reduced admission policy - £2.99 for everyone, all day – increased attendances by a third. (In March/April 2008 the Regal, Cromer, was sold to Geoff Greaves’ Merlin Cinemas.)
Peckham Plex [6] 30 September 1994

Arena 7 (1,closed)

This multiplex, housed in Manchester’s Victoria Station, was adjacent to the Manchester Evening News Arena. That had opened as the Nynex Arena, a huge multi-purpose indoor arena that changed its name in December 1996.
Manchester [7] 6 December 1996. Closed 19 October 2000?

Ritz (1)

Independent multiplex in Northern Ireland owned by local businessman Columba Eastwood. Perhaps not strictly a “multiplex” as defined in the introduction, this was originally a two screen cinema to which three screens have been added. However, the new screens were constructed in a brand new second floor extension and the whole building was sufficiently reconstructed to qualify for this list. The new screens are 1, 2 and 3, while the original auditoriums are numbers 4 and 5.
Cookstown [5] 27 December 1999

Movieland (1)

Independent multiplex in Northern Ireland, adjacent to the Ards Shopping Centre and owned and operated by local businessman Ernie Watson. Very uniquely, this is the only UK multiplex to have its own cinema organ! The Compton from the Ambassador/Odeon, Hounslow, was rescued in 1997 after being stored in a shed for 17 years and has been set up in the balcony overlooking the foyer.
Newtownards [6] March or April 1999

Graves (Cumberland) Ltd (1)

Family company; established in 1910 and based in Cumbria.
Workington(Plaza) [6] 25 May 2001

AMC (2; now Odeon)

Based in Kansas City, Missouri, AMC was founded in 1920 by Maurice, Edward and Barney Dubinsky, who had been travelling the Midwest with melodramas and tent shows.They purchased the Regent in Kansas City, changed their name to Durwood and their company to Durwood Theatres. In 1961 Edward’s son Stanley took control and changed to company name to American Multi-Cinemas Inc. In 1963 he opened the Parkway Twin in Kansas City, although both screens initially showed the same film (The Great Escape), following this with a purpose-built four-screen cinema in 1966 and a six-screen cinema (thought to be the first “multiplex”)in 1969. In 1995 AMC opened the first US “megaplex”, the AMC Grand 24 in Dallas. After opening the first multiplex in the UK, the company’s historic foray into UK exhibition came to an end in late 1988 when its circuit was acquired by UCI. However, in 1995 the company declared its intention tore-enter the UK market. In July 1997 AMC Entertainment and Planet Hollywood announced they were setting up Planet Movies, multiplexes with themed restaurants and shops. However, AMC eventually returned to the UK alone, in2001, when, in addition to Manchester, they announced their second – and final – UK development would be at Broadway Plaza, Birmingham. After sitting idle,following construction in 2002, this multiplex opened the following year. In May 2012 AMC Entertainment was acquired by the Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group for $2.6bn and on 31 August the site at Birmingham was sold to Odeon (the sale having been cleared by the Competition Commission). On 12 July 2016 AMC Entertainment acquired the Odeon/UCI Cinema Group. The AMC in Manchester was re-branded Odeon from 1 September 2017.
Manchester [16]14 December 2001. Acquired by Odeon
Birmingham (Broadway Plaza) [12] 24 October 2003. Sold to Odeon

Savoy Cinemas (3)

Based in Nottingham, where the company operates its other (traditional) cinema, the Savoy.
Boston (West End) [5] 21 March 2002
Worksop [6] 23 March 2012
Corby [6] 31 July 2015

Parkway Entertainment (2)

Parkway Entertainment is an independent family business operating two multiplexes, named Parkway, in Cleethorpes and Beverley, together with traditional cinemas in Louth (the Playhouse) and Barnsley (the Parkway, formerly Odeon). The company was founded in 1983 by the late Gerald Parkes and his wife Denise. The art deco inspired Cleethorpes Parkway is situated on a sea front site near the Greenwich Meridian Line. Screen 1 has live theatre facilities, as does one of the auditoriums at the Beverley Parkway.
Cleethorpes (Parkway) [9] 4 November 2004
Beverley (Parkway) [6] 18 December 2015

Reel Cinemas (7, including 2 sold)

Independent circuit owned by Kailash C. Suri (through 3R Construction and Property Development) who acquired the Curzon at Loughborough in 2001. Originally known as the Curzon Leisure Group, the circuit also includes ‘traditional’ cinemas in towns including Bridgnorth, Ilkeston, Borehamwood, Chippenham, Grantham and Quinton. The company was re-branded as Reel Cinemas Ltd in 2005 (and the Curzon at Loughborough became the Reel the following year). In July 2011 four cinemas, the multiplexes at Crewe and Newark and cinemas at Loughborough and Andover, together with a pipeline site at Swadlincote, were sold to Odeon. Reel retained the pipeline sites at Widnes and West Bromwich. The Reel multiplex at Widnes opened in October 2011. In January 2013, to avoid referral of their acquisition of Apollo Cinemas to the Competition Commission, Vue sold the former Apollo multiplexes at Fareham, Port Talbot and Burnley (together with the Apollo cinema at Morecambe) to Reel.
Crewe [5] 18 November 2005. Sold to Odeon
Newark [5] 13 July 2007. Sold to Odeon
Hull [7] 9 November 2007
Widnes [5] 14 October 2011

ex-Vue (Apollo)

Burnley [9][January 2013]
Fareham [5] [January 2013]
Port Talbot [6] [January 2013]

Village Cinemas (1)

The multiplex in the Odyssey Pavilion, in Belfast, opened in May 2001. Owned by Village Cinemas, it was initially branded as Warner Village, then leased to Vue. On 28 May 2006 Odyssey Cinemas Ltd, owned by Patrick O’Sullivan, acquired the lease and the cinema was re-branded Storm. (Incorrect news reports stated that Mr. O’Sullivan had bought the cinema outright for €7m.) In February 2010 Mr. O’Sullivan lost a court case in which he sought to have the lease annulled on the grounds that the former operator had not disclosed loud music and vibrations from a nearby bar and nightclub that had led to complaints from cinemagoers. Delivering his verdict, the judge remarked that Mr O'Sullivan was merely using this issue as a ploy to get out of his lease. Meanwhile, in April 2008, Entertainment Enterprises Group had teamed up with Odeon to acquire Mr. O’Sullivan’s five Storm cinemas in Ireland (at Naas, Waterford, Limerick, Portlaoise and Cavan Town). Presumably Mr. O’Sullivan was disposing of his cinema interests, and the lease on the cinema at the Odyssey was eventually terminated. It is now operated by Village-Theatres 3 Ltd, a subsidiary of Village Cinemas, and has been re-branded as Odyssey.

Belfast [12] [c2010]

Eclipse Cinemas (1)

The £4m project at Downpatrick was the largest undertaken to date by Eclipse, who also operate the Eclipse, Lifford and Cineplex, Bundoran, both in Ireland. The managing director of Eclipse Cinemas is Martin Barratt.
Downpatrick [6] 12 June 2009

Brunswick Cinebowl (1)

This multiplex was created when the former Brunswick Bowling Alley/Superbowl at Pennyburn Industrial Estate was substantially redeveloped into all all-round entertainment complex.
Londonderry [7] August? 2011

Light Cinemas (6)

Light Digital Cinemas was founded in 2007, to build all digital multiplexes, by former Warner Village property director John Sullivan and UGC/Cineworld development director Keith Pullinger. Its first multiplex opened in Bucharest in 2008. In 2009 Light announced they would be building their first UK multiplex in Wisbech then, in March 2014 that they would operate the new cinema in Bolton's Market Place Shopping Centre, which was due to open in early 2015. (Wisbech eventually opened in May 2014, albeit with only 6 screens; the final two, in the basement, which had been adversely affected by water seepage, opened in May 2015. Bolton opened in October 2016, with Light announcing plans for new cinemas at Sheffield, Thetford, Dundee, Stockport and Walsall.) In 2012, Cineworld acquired art-house circuit City Screen. The following year the company was instructed by the Competition Commission to sell one of its two cinemas in Cambridge, the Arts Picturehouse or the multiplex. Eventually, in January 2015, the multiplex was sold to Light Cinemas. In December 2016 Light opened their first non-multiplex, a three-screen cinema at Thetford, Norfolk.

New Brighton [6] 2 December 2011
Wisbech [8 (originally 6)] 23 May 2014
Cambridge [9] [30 January 2015]
Walsall [8] 21 March 2016
Bolton [9] 7 October 2016
Sheffield [9] 14 April 2017

Premiere Cinemas (2)

In April 2001, when Ster Century opened their 16-screen multiplex at The Brewery, in Romford town centre, Odeon closed their 8-screen multiplex in the nearby Liberty 2 shopping centre (which had opened in July 1990). Despite the subsequent multi-million pound re-development of the Liberty 2 (it's now the Mercury Mall) a covenant prevented the cinema from reopening for 10 years. With the expiry of that covenant, local entrepreneur Carter Hayes leased the cinema from Rank, reopening it after a £250,000 refurbishment as Premiere Cinemas. To draw patrons from the Ster Century (now Vue), and appeal to those on a budget, all tickets are just £4

In April 2015, following a £1m refurbishment in collaboration with the centre’s management company, Premiere reopened the Odeon cinema in the Capitol Shopping Centre that had closed in August 2001. As with their site at Romford, all tickets are just £4.

Romford (Mercury Mall) [8] [13 July 2012]
Cardiff (Capitol) [5] [17 April 2015]

Omniplex (12, including 1 sold)

The Ward Anderson Group was formed in 1948 by Kevin Anderson and Leo Ward. They purchased their first cinema in Lucan, Co. Dublin in 1955 and controlled more than half of all cinema screens in Ireland, through a series of private companies and trusts, until a falling out between the two families. The dispute started in 1997 with a row over the development of a new cinema in Dun Laoghaire and was only settled, out of court, in January 2013. The business assets were divided up, with the Ward family, now led by Paul Ward, retaining the Irish Multiplex Cinemas (IMC) group (qv) and the Anderson family, led by Paul Anderson, retaining the Omniplex Holdings group. The Omniplex at Dundonald was the Group’s first purpose-built all digital multiplex. In July 2010 an Omniplex multiplex in the revamped Kennedy Centre, West Belfast replaced a five screen Cineplex and was NI’s third all digital cinema, following the Omniplex cinemas at Armagh (four screens; formerly City Film House) and Dundonald. The group’s other non-multiplexes are at Bangor, where the current seven-screen Omniplex is an enlargement of the existing four-screen Bangor Multiplex, and Omagh, where the former Studios opened in 1976 as a twin screen cinema. Sometime in 2013-2014 Omniplex sold their multiplex at Enniskillen to IMC. In 2015 Omniplex acquired the former Global Cinema at Dungannon. After a comprehensive refurbishment, this re-opened in March 2016 as an Omniplex cinema.

Londonderry [7] 29 November 1993
Lisburn [14] 10 October 1997
Newry [9] 11 June 1999
Enniskillen [7] 14 April 2000 - Sold to IMC
Carrickfergus [6] 22 April 2000
Dundonald [8] 19 December 2008
Belfast (Kennedy Centre) [8] 23 July 2010
Larne [8] December 2010
Antrim [10] 22 April 2011
Craigavon [8] 25 March 2015
Dungannon [6] [17 March 2016]
Banbridge [8] 17 June 2016

Irish Multiplex Cinemas (2)

The Ward Anderson Group was formed in 1948 by Kevin Anderson and Leo Ward. They purchased their first cinema in Lucan, Co. Dublin in 1955 and controlled more than half of all cinema screens in Ireland, through a series of private companies and trusts, until a falling out between the two families. The dispute started in 1997 with a row over the development of a new cinema in Dun Laoghaire and was only settled, out of court, in January 2013. The business assets were divided up, with the Ward family, now led by Paul Ward, retaining the Irish Multiplex Cinemas (IMC) group and the Anderson family, led by Paul Anderson, retaining the Omniplex Holdings group (qv). In 2013-2014 IMC acquired the Omniplex multiplex at Enniskillen. In December 2015 the company acquired the independently operated Studio cinema at Omagh.

Ballymena [7] 31 July 1998

EX-OMNIPLEX
Enniskillen [7] [2013-2014]

Curzon (1)

Independent cinema and film group Curzon World opened its first five screen art-house cinema in Victoria, London. The group has its origins in 1940, when H. H. Wingate, father of current shareholder Roger Wingate, acquired the lease to the Curzon, Mayfair. That was replaced by a new Curzon in 1966; today, this is operated by Curzon World alongside the company’s other flagship, the Curzon Soho, and its growing network. The company is headed by chief executive/shareholder Philip Knatchbull, while significant investment has been made by the third shareholder, a British Virgin Islands investment vehicle called Viltree, set up by a prominent pharmaceuticals billionaire specifically to invest in Curzon. In addition to its cinemas, Curzon World comprises distribution (through Artificial Eye, Curzon Film World and Chelsea Films), production (through its Curzon Film Rights 2 funding vehicle) and pay-per-view (Curzon Home Cinema).

London (Victoria) [5] 2 May 2014

Picturehouse (2)

Picturehouse Cinemas was formed in 1989 “to challenge the multiplex model and provide cinemas that serve their communities in city-centre locations”. By mid-2015 the company was the fourth largest circuit in the UK. In 1992 Picturehouse opened its first custom-built cinema, Clapham Picturehouse; since then it has grown steadily through a mixture of new builds and acquisitions, particularly in London and university cities such as Cambridge, Edinburgh, Brighton and York. Each cinema is architecturally unique and most incorporate a café bar or a restaurant. Picturehouse Cinemas was acquired by Cineworld in 2012. In June 2015, the company relaunched the former MGM/Virgin/UGC/Cineworld multiplex in the Trocadero, in London’s West End, as Picturehouse Central. This had closed in September 2014.

Picturehouse Central [7] [19 June 2015]
Crouch End [5] 27 November 2015

Everyman (2)

The Everyman Group was founded in 2000, when entrepreneur Daniel Broch bought the original 1933 Everyman cinema in Hampstead. In 2008 the Screen Cinemas circuit was acquired, at which time Broch sold his majority stake in the enlarged company, though he remains a shareholder. Everyman Cinemas offer a mixed programme of films and special events, including the Metropolitan Opera from New York and the National Theatre (in selected cinemas), live Q&As, film festivals and seasons. The group has extended its operating area from the South-East, beginning with cinemas in Leeds, in April 2013, and Birmingham, in February 2015. In April 2015, the company acquired four non-multiplex cinemas (at Barnet and Muswell Hill, in London, and Esher and Gerrard’s Cross) from Odeon for £7.1m.

Harrogate [5] 9 September 2016
Chelmsford [5] 16 December 2016