Vue International

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Vue International Bidco plc
Founded1999; 24 years ago (1999) (as Spean Bridge Cinemas)
13 May 2003; 20 years ago (2003-05-13) (as Vue)
FounderTim Richards (CEO)
HeadquartersLondon, England
Number of locations
226 (as of 2022)
Area served
8 European countriesTaiwan
Key people
  • Cinemaxx
  • Multikino
  • SBC Cinemas
  • The Space Cinema
  • Vue UK and Ireland
  • Vue Nederland

Vue International (/vj/, like "view"), is a multinational cinema holding company based in London, England. It operates in the United Kingdom and Ireland as Vue, with international operations in Denmark and Germany (as CinemaxX); Italy (as The Space Cinema); Poland and Lithuania (Multikino); Netherlands (Vue Netherlands); Taiwan (SBC Cinemas).



Vue at The Oracle in Reading, England
Vue at Cardigan Fields in Leeds, England

The company was founded in 1999 as Spean Bridge Cinemas by Stewart Blair, a former executive of United Artists Theatres and Tim Richards, a former executive of Warner Bros. International Theatres. It was named after a holiday to the Scottish Highland village of the same name by Blair.[1]


The first cinema to open was under The Circuit Cinema brand in Livingston, Scotland, on 5 October 2000.[2] The company was later renamed as SBC International Cinemas and opened cinemas in Faro, Portugal (closed in 2014) and Taipei, Taiwan (still operating as SBC).[3]

In May 2003, SBC bought Warner Village Cinemas from its owners, Village Roadshow and Warner Bros., for £250 million. At the time, SBC owned four cinemas, and Warner Village Cinemas owned 36.[4] In April 2005, the chain acquired the Ster Century chain from Aurora Entertainment; this included the highest grossing cinema in the United Kingdom or Ireland at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in Dublin, Ireland.[5]

On 20 June 2006, Vue's executive team completed a management buy out of the company with the backing of Bank of Scotland Corporate; the management team retaining a 51% stake. Also, as part of the buy out, Vue took full ownership of the four Village sites it had been operating under contract from Village Roadshow. The private equity firm Doughty Hanson & Co acquired Vue in November 2010.[6]


Vue bought the company Apollo in May 2012, retaining 14 new sites across the United Kingdom, making it the third largest cinema company in the United Kingdom, behind Odeon and Cineworld.[7]

In May 2013, Vue Entertainment acquired Multikino, the Polish cinema operator owning thirty cinemas with almost 250 screens in Poland and Baltic countries.[8]

In June 2013, Doughty Hanson & Co announced it had sold Vue to the Canadian pension funds Alberta Investment Management Corporation and OMERS for £935 million.[9]

In November 2014, Vue International acquired The Space Cinema in Italy.[10]

In March 2015, Vue announced it would build the United Kingdom's first eSports arena in cooperation with Gfinity, costing £350,000.[11] The Fulham Broadway cinema was converted into a six hundred seat 'Gfinity Arena,' to host e gaming events [12]

In August 2015, Vue International acquired JT Bioscopen, the second largest cinema chain in the Netherlands, bringing Vue's number of sites to over 200.[13]

In June 2018, Vue acquired the Irish operator Showtime Cinemas, adding a further two cinemas to their estate in the United Kingdom and Ireland, now totalling 89 cinemas.[14]


In March 2020, Vue temporarily closed its cinemas due to the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that it would "remain closed until further notice".[15] Though numerous lockdowns affected a brief reopening in mid 2020, eventually, all cinemas reopened in May 2021, with COVID restrictions in force until spring 2022.

On 18 May 2020, Vue announced that it would close its single Multikino site in Riga, Latvia, after operating for almost 10 years.[16]


Vue International operates 226 sites and 2,010 screens globally.[17]

Country Operating brand No. of cinemas No. of screens
United Kingdom and Ireland Vue UK & Ireland 91 864
Germany Cinemaxx 30 257
Denmark Vue Danmark & Cinemaxx 3 33
Italy The Space Cinema 36 359
Poland and Lithuania Multikino 46 330
Netherlands Vue Nederland 19 127
Taiwan SBC International Cinemas 1 20


  1. ^ "SBC Cinemas mooted to reel in Cine-UK".
  2. ^ "Vue Livingston in Livingston, GB - Cinema Treasures".
  3. ^ Entrepreneurial Vue: Tim Richards reflects on early days and moving forward Film Journal International. 21 June 2013.
  4. ^ Wray, Richard (14 May 2003). "Deal marks the end for Warner Village". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  5. ^ Murray, Adam (April 2005). "Vue Entertainment Purchases Ster Century UK & Ireland" (Press release). BV Investment Partners. Archived from the original on 19 May 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Doughty Hanson buys Vue cinema chain". Reuters. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  7. ^ "Vue acquires rival Apollo for £20m". Financial Times. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  8. ^ "UK's Vue Entertainment buys Polish cinema chain Multikino - Yahoo! Finance UK". Archived from the original on 16 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Doughty Hanson sells Vue cinema chain in £935m deal". Financial Times. June 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Vista Cinema Enters Italy; Completes Rollout of The Space Cinema, Owned by Vue International". 10 April 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Can Professional Video Gaming Take UK We Visit Opening Night First Esports Arena Find Out". CityAM.
  12. ^ "Vue Gfinity Esports". Engadget.
  13. ^ "Vue International Acquires Second Largest Chain in the Netherlands". Corporate Vue.
  14. ^ "Showtime: Chain to acquire seven screen cinema in Limerick".
  15. ^ "Coronavirus: Odeon, Vue and Cineworld shut UK cinemas". 17 March 2020. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  16. ^ Balčus, Zane. "Cinema Splendid Palace Reopens In Riga But Multikino Latvia Ceases Operations -". Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  17. ^ "Our Markets - Vue International". Retrieved 20 September 2023.

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