Vue Cinemas

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Vue Entertainment
Private
Founded May 2003; 13 years ago (2003-05)
Founder Timothy Richards (CEO)
Alan McNair (CFO)
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Owner OMERS
Alberta Investment Management Corporation
Website www.myvue.com

Vue Entertainment (otherwise known as Vue Cinemas, and stylised as vue), formerly SBC International Cinemas, is a cinema company operating in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. 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 2013 the company has 80 cinemas in the UK, making it the third largest cinema chain in the country, with 755 screens.[1] The company's flagship site is Vue West End, the former Warner Village cinema in Leicester Square.

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]

History[edit]

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]

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]

Facilities[edit]

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]

Venues[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

Two of the UK cinemas featured in this list include a bonus IMAX screen, which were installed in late 2015.

Location Total Screens 3D Screens Other Capacity
Aberdeen 7 2 Digital Dolby 5:1 Surround Sound 1,520
Accrington 4 1 Digital Dolby 6:1 Surround Sound 835
Altrincham 6 6 Digital Dolby 6:1 Surround Sound 879
Barrow 6 2 Digital Dolby 6:1 Surround Sound 951
Basingstoke Festival Place 10 3 Digital Dolby 6:1 Surround Sound 2,166
Bicester 7 2 Digital Dolby 6:1 Surround Sound 854
Birkenhead 7 1 Digital Dolby 6:1 Surround Sound 1,756
Birmingham 25 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound 5,128
Blackburn 10 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound 1,635
Bolton 12 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, VueXtreme 2,477
Bristol Cribbs Causeway 12 4 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, VueXtreme 2,470
Bristol Longwell Green 13 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound 2,686
Bury The Rock 10 4 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, VueXtreme, 4K 1,690
Camberley 9 4 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 4K 1,839
Cambridge 8 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound 1,724
Cardiff 7 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 1,600
Carlisle 7 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 1,647
Carmarthen 6 6 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 900
Cheshire Oaks 16 5 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, IMAX 3,390
Cleveleys 8 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 1,066
Cramlington 9 3 Digital Dolby Atmos Surround Sound, 3D, VueXtreme
Croydon Grant's 10 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 1,778
Croydon Purley Way 8 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 1,996
Cwmbran 8 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 1,179
Dagenham 9 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 1,724
Darlington 9 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,256
Doncaster 11 0 Digital Dolby Surround Sound 1,386
Eastleigh 9 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 1,578
Edinburgh Ocean Terminal 12 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 2,602
Edinburgh Omni Centre 12 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 2,188
Exeter 7 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 1,044
Farnborough 7 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 921
Gateshead Trinity Square 9 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D
Glasgow Fort 8 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,900
Halifax 9 0 Digital Dolby Surround Sound 1,400
Hamilton 9 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,478
Harrow 12 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,808
Hartlepool 7 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 1,773
Hull Princes Quay 10 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 1,694
Inverness 8 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 1,758
Lancaster 6 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D 1,574
Leamington Spa 6 4 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 898
Leeds Kirkstall Road 10 0 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K, IMAX 1,886
Leeds The Light 14 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 2,834
Leicester 8 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 2,391
Livingston 8 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,645
London: Acton 9 4 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 2,332
London: Finchley North 10 0 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 2,102
London: Finchley Road (O2 Centre) 12 4 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,710
London: Fulham Broadway 9 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 2,252
London: Islington 10 4 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, VueXtreme 1,753
London: Leicester Square 9 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 2,471
London: Piccadilly 5 4 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 481
London: Shepherd's Bush 12 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 2,557
London: Westfield London 17 6 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, VueXtreme, 4K 3,000
London: Westfield Stratford City 20 5 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, VueXtreme 2,600
London: Wood Green 6 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,742
Manchester Lowry 7 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 2,087
Merthyr Tydfil 10 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,212
Newbury 7 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 973
Newcastle-under-Lyme 8 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,976
Northampton 10 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 2,547
Norwich 8 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,800
Oxford 9 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,712
Plymouth 15 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, VueXtreme, 4K 3,315
Portsmouth 14 4 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 3,203
Preston 7 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,848
Reading 11 4 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,840
Redditch 7 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,172
Rhyl 5 5 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 601
Romford 16 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 3,715
Scunthorpe 7 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,500
Sheffield 11 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,953
Southport 8 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,403
Staines 10 2 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 2,126
Stirling 8 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,061
Stroud 6 4 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 796
Swansea 12 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,762
Thanet – Westwood Cross 10 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,644
Thurrock 9 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,322
Torbay 9 5 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,638
Watford 11 4 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,844
Worcester 6 1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 1,315
York 12 3 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 2,936

Republic of Ireland[edit]

Location Total Screens 3D Screens Other Capacity
Dublin 14 5 Digital Dolby Surround Sound, 3D, 4K 2,744

Marketing[edit]

From October 2013 to late-August 2016, the company's downloadable free app (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 was linked to the cinema's website (see "External links" below). In September 2016, the app was temporarily shutdown, due to severe technical issues, but as of early November 2016, the app has been updated and is currently functional.

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. The magazine's last publishing was issued in April 2016.

References[edit]

External links[edit]