|Founder||Timothy Richards (CEO)
Alan McNair (CFO)
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
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 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 2017 the company has 85 cinemas in the UK, making it the third largest cinema chain in the country, with 813 screens, including 265 3D screens, 11 Extreme Screens, 7 Gold Class screens, 3 Scene Screens and Bars, and 2 IMAX screens. 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, 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. 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.
The company's original slogan was entitled The Future of Cinema, which was announced 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.
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.
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 2010.
By 2013, it was reported that Vue had 143 cinemas. In May 2013, Vue Entertainment acquired Multikino, the Polish cinema operator owning 30 cinemas with almost 250 screens in Poland and Baltic countries.
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 completed the rollout of the Vista Entertainment Solutions integrated Point of Sale software to every site in 2006. 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  and planning permission has been approved for an eight-screen venue on Elizabeth Street and Westcott Way in Corby. In late 2015, Vue Cheshire Oaks & Leeds were upgraded to be the first two cinemas to have IMAX screens.
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. The update resembles 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. The magazine's last publishing was issued in April 2016.
- Clarity Partners: Vue Entertainment Announces Management Buyout
- Doughty Hanson buys Vue cinemas
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- Richard Wray (14 May 2003). "Deal marks the end for Warner Village". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
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- Vue Entertainment buys Polish Multikino
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- Vista Case Study: Vue Entertainment
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- "Can Professional Video Gaming Take UK We Visit Opening Night First Esports Arena Find Out". CityAM.
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