Vue Cinemas

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Vue Entertainment
Vue Cinemas
Founded May 2003; 14 years ago (2003-05)
Founder Timothy Richards (CEO)
Alan McNair (CFO)
Headquarters West End, London, United Kingdom
Number of locations
85 cinemas (across SCO, ENG & WAL)
Alberta Investment Management Corporation

Vue Entertainment (otherwise known as Vue Cinemas, and stylised as vue), formerly SBC International Cinemas, is a cinema company operating in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands. The company was formed in May 2003 by the acquisition of Warner Village Cinemas by SBC and the subsequent rebranding of the business as Vue. As of 2017 the company has 85 cinemas in the UK, making it the third largest cinema chain in the country, with over 800 screens, including 265 3D screens, 11 Extreme Screens, 7 Gold Class screens, 3 Scene Screens and Bars, and 2 IMAX screens.[1]

The company expanded through a number of acquisitions, including the Ster Century chain, Apollo Cinemas and Multikino. In June 2006, Vue's executive team completed a management buy-out with the backing of Bank of Scotland Corporate,[2] taking a 51% stake in the business and buying the four remaining Warner Village sites it had been operating under contract from Village Roadshow.

The company was bought by the private equity firm Doughty Hanson & Co in 2010.[3] In June 2013, Doughty Hanson & Co announced the sale of the company to the Canadian firms OMERS and Alberta Investment Management Corporation for £935 million.[4]

The company's original slogan was entitled The Future of Cinema, was used from its opening in May 2003 until November 2015. Thereafter, the company decided to have a makeover, and – with a new rebranding and black covering instead of orange – renamed the slogan as Big Screen Entertainment, respectively. The slogan has remained the same since then. They also used the slogan 'Enjoy the Vue' for a year, with some Vue cinemas still having that signage.


Vue at Cardigan Fields in Leeds

The company was formed in May 2003, when SBC bought Warner Village Cinemas from Warner Bros. for £250 million. At the time, SBC owned four cinemas, and Warner Village Cinemas owned 36.[5]

In April 2005 the chain acquired the Ster Century chain from Aurora Entertainment; this included the highest grossing cinema in the UK or Ireland at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in Dublin, Ireland.[6]

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.[2] 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 2010.[3]

On 13 September 2011, Vue opened their biggest cinema in the UK at the new Westfield Stratford City. They had previously opened at Westfield London in 2010.

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

By 2013, it was reported that Vue had 143 cinemas.[8] In May 2013, Vue Entertainment acquired Multikino, the Polish cinema operator owning 30 cinemas with almost 250 screens in Poland and Baltic countries.[9]

In June 2013, Doughty Hanson & Co announced it had sold Vue to the Canadian pension fund OMERS and Alberta Investment Management Corporation for £935 million.[4]

In November 2014, Vue International acquired The Space Cinema (it).[10]

In 2015, Vue International (Vue) acquired JT Bioscopen ("JT") the second largest cinema chain in the Netherlands, bringing Vue's number of sites to over 200.[11]


Vue at The Oracle in Reading

Vue's multiplexes vary from 4 to 30 screens. Each cinema is run by a team consisting of one general manager assisted by between two and five other members of the management team. The general manager has general control of the running of the cinema at site level, while assisted by the other members of the management team. Team Leaders act as duty managers and are responsible for the operational running of a cinema on a shift basis. Customer Assistants serve guests throughout the cinema and report to the management team.

All cinemas have a dedicated projection team, responsible for the running of the "box" and the maintenance of the projection and sound equipment. The Technical Manager has overall responsibility, supported by a Senior Projectionist. They are accompanied by a team of two to four full or part-time projection staff, some of which can also share duties with the standard operation of the cinema. However, all Vue sites are now fully digital, and therefore ran by the management team, or Technical Manager.

Vue in Swansea

Vue completed the rollout of the Vista Entertainment Solutions integrated Point of Sale software to every site in 2006.[12] Prior to this the majority of Vue cinemas ran the WaBITS ticketing system, developed in-house in London by Warner Bros. International Cinemas. This was an internal system used in all former Warner Village cinemas until 2007, when the division responsible for development was closed owing to the sale of the remaining joint venture cinema chains. WaBTIS continues to be used in Japan by Warner Mycal Cinemas who now own the rights to the system.

The new system enables customers to buy tickets at any retail point in the cinema, as well as online through the company website. Vue were the first major cinema operator in the UK to implement this "single point of sale" concept. Some cinemas have no dedicated box office, meaning that all transactions are carried out at retail stands - these include Aberdeen, Accrington, Birkenhead, Blackburn, Bury The Rock, Camberley, Cardiff, Carmarthen, Carlisle, Cwmbran, Eastleigh, Hull Princes Quay, Lancaster, The Leeds Light, Hartlepool, Merthyr Tydfil, Harrow, Northampton and Swansea.

In 2015 Vue cinemas opened in Farnborough [13] and planning permission has been approved for an eight-screen venue on Elizabeth Street and Westcott Way in Corby.[14] In late 2015, Vue Cheshire Oaks & Leeds were upgraded to be the first two cinemas to have IMAX screens.

Vue cinema built the first UK's eSports arena in cooperation with Gfinity, costing £350,000.[15] The Fulham Broadway cinema was converted into a 600-seat 'Gfinity Arena,' to host e-gaming events [16]

On the 14th April 2017 it was announced that Vue had acquired the 20 screen Odeon Printworks complex in Manchester. This would add an additional IMAX screen to the companies estate.


An app was launched in October 2013 (available from Android's Google Play Store and Apple Inc.'s Apple Store) was available for use. The features included full film information and show times, and is linked to the cinema's website. The app was updated in November 2016 to the same format as the new website.

When Vue opened, the company began publishing a free monthly magazine based upon reviews and listings of films. The magazine was issued on the first Friday of every month until April 2016.


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