UCI Cinemas

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UCI Cinemas
Type Cinema chain
Founded 1989
Owner(s) Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group (except in Brazil)
National Amusements (Brazil)

UCI Cinemas (United Cinemas International) is a brand of cinema, currently operating in Austria, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Brazil. All territories with the exception of Brazil (where UCI cinemas are owned by National Amusements) are owned by Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group whose ultimate parent is Terra Firma Capital Partners.

History[edit]

UCI was formed in 1989 through a merger of AMC and CIC theatres, and operated as a partnership of Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios initially to build cinemas in the UK. Under chairman Tom McGrath, the group expanded to build and operate cinemas in Austria, Brazil, China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan and the UK.

In the UK the company operated cinemas under the UCI and (later) thefilmworks brands, and initially enjoyed a sizeable market share. They took over the first multiplex cinema which was operated and opened by AMC in the UK in 1985, and were one of the first to purchase a digital projector – costing a massive £130,000 – one out of only 30 worldwide. This enabled them to download films via satellite, and also play digital media disks rather than film.

The cinemas were, by and large, fairly simplistic in design and seemed steeped in 1980s traditions that quickly became dated. However, a later purchase by Terra Firma (see below) saw the chain merged with Odeon cinemas and henceforth adopting the far plusher Odeon style.

In late 2004, the European division of UCI was bought by Terra Firma Capital Partners, along with rival chain Odeon Cinemas. The majority of UK UCI and thefilmworks cinemas were re-branded to use the Odeon name. As a condition of the merger with Odeon Cinemas (imposed by the Office of Fair Trading), UCI Clydebank, UCI Poole, UCI Sutton, UCI Basildon, The Empire Leicester Square and thefilmworks High Wycombe were sold to Empire Cinemas. Since the merger has been completed, few elements of former UCI cinemas still retain the UCI look and feel, they now almost all share the standard Odeon design cues, except for a handful of the former "Filmworks" brand whose designs didn't lend themselves well to an Odeon "look" . The UCI, UCI/Kinowelt and Cinesa brands will remain in Ireland and the rest of Europe. UCI Hull was evicted at around this time due to redevelopment. As there was already an Odeon there, it was not replaced.

Irish cinemas, although retaining the UCI name, are being managed as part of Odeon Cinemas and have introduced parts of their offer, such as Premier seating and the Odeon inhouse magazine, "Onscreen". Advertising now also bears the Odeon logo font in many cases. In August 2007, UCI launched a new Irish website with an identical layout to odeon.co.uk. The Irish cinemas were sold to an Irish group, Entertainment Enterprises, in September 2006, but continued to be run by Odeon under a management contract. In April 2008, Entertainment Enterprises announced that it would be acquiring the Storm Cinemas chain with the exception of the Belfast cinema, and would be contracting the management of the cinemas to Odeon. UCI's Tallaght cinema, the first opened in the country, was closed on 8 March 2010 after the landlords gave the company notice that their lease would not be renewed. [1]. On 31 May 2011, Odeon announced that it had bought back the UCI chain in Ireland (including the Storm Cinemas-branded locations) from Entertainment Enterprises.[1]

UCI have invested heavily in the "Customer Experience". This forms a focal point of the staff training all around the globe, and looks at impressions offered to the customer at all times throughout their visit to any one of their cinemas.

Current locations[edit]

Austria[edit]

  • Annenhof (Graz)
  • Millennium City (Vienna)
  • SCS (Wiener Neudorf)

Brazil[edit]

Germany[edit]

Italy[edit]

Portugal[edit]

External links[edit]