On December 31, 1949, the theater business was spun off into an independent company called United Paramount Theatres, headed by Leonard Goldenson. In 1953 UPT purchased the American Broadcasting Company, providing ABC's television network with a source of cash flow that enabled it to survive and eventually become competitive. The merged company was named American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres. In 1965 the corporation was renamed American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., and the theater chain was renamed ABC Theatres. In 1974 ABC sold its movie theaters in the Midwest (a division called ABC Great States created in 1968) to one of its executives, Henry Plitt, doing business as Plitt Theatres. Plitt subsequently bought the ABC Southern theater operations in 1978. In 1985, Plitt Theaters was sold to Cineplex Odeon Cinemas.