It was launched in New York on October 22, 1991, with the backing of Hollywood stars Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Further celebrity endorsement included actress Whoopi Goldberg, actor Don Johnson and his then-wife Melanie Griffith, the late director John Hughes, comedienne Roseanne Barr, and actors Tom Arnold, Wesley Snipes, and Danny Glover.
Planet Hollywood was the idea of Bryan Kestner, a former actor who had some small parts in movies produced by Taft-Barish. Kestner approached his boss, Keith Barish, with the idea of a theme restaurant modeled after Hard Rock Cafe, which would instead feature movie memorabilia. Barish was a financier, real estate developer and film producer, whose credits include Sophie's Choice, The Fugitive, The Running Man and 9½ Weeks. Kestner wanted to call the restaurant "Cafe Hollyrock"; instead, Barish and Robert Earl came up with the name "Planet Hollywood."  The similarity of the two restaurants led Hard Rock Cafe to sue Planet Hollywood's creators for $1.5 billion; the suit was not successful. Kestner received minimal shares in the company for his idea;  it was Barish, and Robert Earl, former President and CEO of Hard Rock Cafe, who developed Planet Hollywood. Kestner's involvement with development of the company was limited to attending grand opening parties, which he was eventually asked to not attend at Earl's prompting. After Planet Hollywood's filing of numerous bankruptcies, Ketsner's shares were worthless and he had to file bankruptcy as well. Kestner still receives no money from the restaurant or corporation.
Earl recruited many Hard Rock veterans to open new Planet Hollywood locations. Movie star "owners" received stock options at a low price in exchange for their endorsement, so that they could be billed as legal owners.
In 1994, Planet Hollywood founded the Official All Star Café restaurant chain, which aimed to use the same concept of branding and memorabilia in the world of sports.
In April 1996, Planet Hollywood went public. The company's share price reached an all-time high of $32 on the first day of trading; by 1999, it was down to less than $1. The company has gone bankrupt twice. Nearly 100 locations have closed worldwide, leaving about 8 currently open.
In 1997, Planet Hollywood entered a joint partnership with AMC Theaters to establish and develop Planet Movies by AMC. In 1998, Planet Hollywood entered the ice-cream business when it launched Cool Planet Ice Cream. The business was scrapped later that year. Schwarzenegger severed his financial ties with the business in early 2000. Schwarzenegger said the company had not had the success he had hoped for, claiming he wanted to focus his attention on "new U.S. and global business ventures" and his movie career.
Marvel Mania opened on February 18, 1998 near Universal Studios Hollywood with Marvel being a co-owner with Universal Studios Hollywood and Planet Hollywood. However, Planet Hollywood had financial problems due to expanding too quickly and had to close it.
The last Official All Star Cafe, at Disney's Wide World of Sports, closed on September 23, 2007.
Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas had its grand opening the weekend of November 16, 2007, in the remodeled Aladdin Hotel & Casino. Planet Hollywood partnered with Westgate Resorts on the new PH Towers A Westgate Resort, connected to the existing resort, which opened on January 1, 2010. The 52-story luxury vacation ownership and condominium tower included over 1,200 1-4 bedroom units and a four story penthouse of 28 luxury condominiums from 4,000 to 10,000 square feet (370 to 930 m2). The building is a key subject in the documentary film The Queen of Versailles. The resort and casino were sold in 2010 to Caesars Entertainment, and the separate Towers project was sold to Centerbridge Partners' Resort Finance Associates in 2011.
In September 2008, Planet Hollywood International Inc. acquired Buca, Inc., the owner of the Buca di Beppo national restaurant chain.
As of December 2015, only nine of formerly several dozen Planet Hollwood locations remain open:
Restaurants with merchandise stores
- Disneyland Paris - Disney Village (Opened July 1996)
- Las Vegas - The Forum Shops at Caesars (Opened July 1994)
- London - Haymarket (Relocated June 2009)
- New York - Times Square (Relocated November 2000)
- Niagara Falls - Falls Avenue (Opened April 1999)
- Orlando - Disney Springs (Opened October 1994)
- Las Vegas - Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Las Vegas Strip (Opened April 2007)
- Goa - Planet Hollywood Beach Resort, Utorda Beach (Opened October 2014)
Former theme restaurants
- Friend, Tad. "Waiter, There's a Bankable Star in my Soup." Esquire. September 1991. https://www.byliner.com/tad-friend/stories/waiter-there-s-a-bankable-star-in-my-soup
- Handelman, David. "Soon to Be a Major Gimme-Cap-and-Sweatshirt-Dispensing Restaurant," Spy, September 1991
- Masters, Kim. "Disaster Amid the Stars." Vanity Fair. March 2000. http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/2853014/disaster-amid-stars
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- "Arnold leaves planet". schwarzenegger.com. 2000-01-25. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
- Zoltak, James (March 2, 1998). "Spiderman And The Hulk Add Punch To Opening Of Marvel Mania Eatery". Amusement Business (BPI Communications Inc.). Retrieved 2011-03-18.
- Rhoades, Shirrel. Comic books: how the industry works. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing. p. 204.
- "Planet Hollywood in Myrtle Beach closed". WPDE. September 8, 2015. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
- "FBI joins Planet Hollywood inquiry". BBC News. 1998-08-26. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
- "Planet Hollywood Closes Nine Restaurants".
Media related to Planet Hollywood at Wikimedia Commons