Event Cinemas

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Greater Union Organisation Pty Ltd
Event Cinemas
Greater Union
BCC Cinemas
Industry Cinema
Founded 1934
Areas served
United States, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji
Parent Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited
Website www.eventcinemas.com.au

Greater Union Organisation Pty Ltd,[1] operating as Event Cinemas, Greater Union and Birch Carroll & Coyle (now BCC Cinemas[2]), is a group of cinema multiplexes across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. In Australia, the cinemas are owned and operated by a joint venture entity Australian Theatres of Village Roadshow and Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited (EVENT); in New Zealand by EVENT; and in Fiji by a joint venture of EVENT and local investors known as Damodar Event Cinemas located in Damodar City Suva, Village Six Suva and Village Four Lautoka.[3]


In 1910, Thomas James West established West's Pictures and over the next three years the company merged with other film distributors, first becoming the General Film Company of Australasia, and then Union Theatres and Australasian Films.

During the 1920s the organisation grew further, developing a relationship with Queensland's Birch, Carroll & Coyle (now known as BCC Cinemas), a brand that Greater Union maintains to this day. The Great Depression of the 1930s caused significant changes for the group. Union Theatres was liquidated, and its assets purchased by Greater Union Theatres. British Empire Films, the National Theatre Supply Co., and Cinesound all derived from Union Theatres and Australasian Films.[citation needed].

In 1945 the Rank Organisation purchased 50% of the now stable Greater Union Theatres. The name changed to Greater Union Organisation (GUO) in the 1950s, a time which saw the formation of strategic alliances with Hoyts and the predecessor to Village Roadshow (1955 and 1960) in order to exploit opening markets. GUO became the sister chain to Odeon Cinemas in the United Kingdom and Odeon Theatres (now Cineplex Entertainment in Canada). GUO expanded by acquiring the MGM Theatres cinema chain in 1971, the Western Australia based Ace Group in 1986, and completing their acquisition of Birch, Carroll & Coyle in 1991. The majority of the GUO sites are a joint venture with Village Cinemas (trading as: Australian Theatres). In NSW, ACT, QLD, SA and WA the group trades under the Greater Union and BCC brands and in Victoria under the Village banner. GUO has since expanded into Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.[4] EVENT acquired control from the Rank Organisation in 1984, and continues to run the company today.

In 2003, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited sold 50% of its Australian cinema operations to Village Roadshow and Village Roadshow sold 50% of its Village Cinemas operations in Australia to EVENT and they formed a joint venture, Australian Theatres.

The group has rebranded several of its premier Australian and New Zealand cinemas under the Event Cinemas name since 2009.[5][6]

In a recent development in 2015, Event Cinemas opened their new flagship location, Event Cinemas Miranda on 2 April 2015. This new "ground-up' development included new premium cinema experiences of Gold Class & Vmax with the inclusion of Dolby Atmos. This location now boasts 10 screens, Gold Class Bar & lounge along with self serve Scoop Alley (Candy Bar).

Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited purchased a chain of New Zealand and Fijian cinemas from Skycity Entertainment Group in February 2010, having received New Zealand Government consent under the state's Overseas Investment Act.[7][8] Event Cinemas New Zealand has previously operated as Skycity Cinemas under Skycity Entertainment Group, Village Sky City under a Village Roadshow-Skycity Entertainment Group joint venture, and Village Roadshow Cinemas under Village Roadshow ownership.

Skyline Drive In Blacktown is Sydney's last Drive In Theatre cinema complex.[9][10] It comprises 2 screens featuring Digital projection, as well as Dolby Stereo Sound and is branded Skyline Drive-in [Formerly: Greater Union Drive In].

Greater Union previously ran in partnership with Hoyts in several locations in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane including Sydney's CBD location. As of December 2005, Hoyts and Greater Union have separated their joint ventures in these locations [11]

Event Cinemas also opens at Westfield Whitford City on May or June 2017.



Vmax are premium large format cinemas exclusive to Event Cinemas and Village Cinemas, featuring 20m screen, eight channel surround sound, stadium seating and high frame rate projectors and Dolby Atmos in some cinemas.[12] These cinemas were previously branded as G-Max cinemas.

Gold Class[edit]

Gold Class Cinema interior with sponsorship

Gold Class cinemas are smaller luxury cinema format containing 24 and 56 seats, offering improved seating and access to food and beverage during the feature.[13] All Gold Class cinemas are operated in separate areas within the cinema complex. Anyone can attend a session in Gold Class but under 18s must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times, except in South Australia, where minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.[14] The experience is also offered at Village Cinemas[15][16]

Dolby Atmos[edit]

In 2014, Amalgamated Holdings Limited committed to install Dolby Atmos sound system in 20 screens as part of its expansion plans.[17] This project was completed in 2016, with Vmax cinemas in George Street, Miranda, Hurtsville and Kotara complexes in New South Wales and Springfield, Pacific Fair and North Lakes complexes in Queensland installing Atmos.[18] Similarly, the Gold Class cinemas in Miranda, Kotara, Springfield, Pacific Fair and North Lakes complexes have Atmos installed.

Allocated Seating[edit]

Since 2007, allocated seating has been implemented in all of Event Cinemas nationwide, with advance tickets being available for purchase online for an additional booking fee. This initiative was launched under the banner Jump the Queue.[19]

Cinebuzz Club[edit]

The Cinebuzz Club is a loyalty program operated by Greater Union, BCC Cinemas and Event Cinemas, which entitles members to receive a free movie after viewing six standard movies. Watching Vmax or Gold Class movies allow members to earn more points. Buying tickets online also garners additional points. Standard, Vmax and Gold Glass tickets are all redeemable. There are also special programs for children, students, seniors and frequent movie-goers.[20]

Alternate Content[edit]

Apart from the traditional movies, Event Cinemas now screen special alternate content. Examples include screenings of; Bollywood, Football, Gaming, The Melbourne Cup carnival in Gold Class, Film Festivals, a Queen rock concert remastered in Ultra HD, the Vatican Museums in 3D, Cinema Asia, opera and standup comedy events.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.eventcinemas.com.au/Terms
  2. ^ Event Cinemas. "Birch Carol and Coyle name Change". Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  3. ^ http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=81676239
  4. ^ "Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited". 
  5. ^ Neil Dowling and Michael Bennet (10 May 2009). "Greater Union to give cinemas major makeover". Perth Now. Retrieved 10 December 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ Ben-Rutherford (19 May 2009). "Going to the Movies is now an EVENT!". Movieblog. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  7. ^ "Sky City cinemas sold". Stuff.co.nz. Reuters. 24 November 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "Sky City cinema deal moves". Stuff.co.nz. NZPA. 7 January 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Greater Union Blacktown Cinema Info". Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  10. ^ "Bass Hill Greater Union Drive In". Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  11. ^ "ACCC approves Hoyts - GU divorce". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 December 2005. 
  12. ^ "VMAX". www.eventcinemas.com.au. Retrieved 2016-06-03. 
  13. ^ "Gold Class". www.eventcinemas.com.au. Retrieved 2016-06-03. 
  14. ^ Cronulla Cineas Reviews. "What is Gold Class?". Archived from the original on December 30, 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  15. ^ Village Cinemas. "Village Cinemas Gold Class". Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  16. ^ Event Cinemas. "About Gold Class". Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  17. ^ nurun. "AHL to Roll Out 20 Dolby Atmos Screens in Australia - Dolby Laboratories, Inc.". investor.dolby.com. Retrieved 2016-06-03. 
  18. ^ "Dolby ATMOS". www.eventcinemas.com.au. Retrieved 2016-06-03. 
  19. ^ "Jump the Queue". Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  20. ^ "CINEBUZZ Club; 600 points gets a free standard ticket". Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  21. ^ "Alternate Content". 

External links[edit]

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