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 Chiswick Park, 566 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, London, United Kingdom
Number of locations
85 cinemas (across Great Britain)
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 the Republic of Ireland owned by Vue International. 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 2018, the company has 87 cinemas in the United Kingdom, making it the third largest cinema chain in the country, with over 840 screens, including 265 3D screens, 11 Extreme Screens, 7 Gold Class screens, 3 Scene Screens and Bars, and 3 IMAX screens.[1]

The parent company Vue International 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.

Operation Hours[edit]

Every cinema is open everyday except Christmas Day. The company operates a policy of all cinemas opening 15 minutes before the first film of the day, meaning that local cinemas usually open at about 9:30 am, whereas more major cities like Birmingham, the West End, and Manchester open at 9 am. Seasonally, all cinemas are open from 8 am if a big blockbuster is on during the Christmas and New Year season. All cinemas close at 3 am everyday except Christmas Day, unless a film requires overnight screenings.


Country Cinemas Open Closed
England 60 09:00 03:00
Scotland 15
Wales >10


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 United Kingdom 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 November 2010.[3]

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

By 2013, it was reported that Vue had 143 cinemas.[8] In May 2013, Vue Entertainment acquired Multikino, the Polish cinema operator owning thirty 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 August 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 United Kingdom 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, Scunthorpe and Swansea.

In May 2004, Vue purchased the Premiere Cinema in Accrington for £850,000.[13] It then carried out refurbishment work at the four screen complex.[14] By April 2005, the cinema was making profits for the first time.[15]

In October 2015, Vue cinemas opened in Farnborough [16] and planning permission has been approved for an eight screen venue on Elizabeth Street and Westcott Way in Corby.[17] In the end of 2015, Vue Cheshire Oaks & Leeds were upgraded to be the first two cinemas to have IMAX screens.

Vue built the first United Kingdom's eSports arena in cooperation with Gfinity, costing £350,000.[18] The Fulham Broadway cinema was converted into a six hundred seat 'Gfinity Arena,' to host e gaming events [19] On 14 April 2017, it was announced that Vue had acquired the twenty screen Odeon Printworks complex in Manchester. This would add an additional IMAX screen to the companies estate.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b Clarity Partners: Vue Entertainment Announces Management Buyout
  3. ^ a b Doughty Hanson buys Vue cinemas
  4. ^ a b "Vue Cinemas sold in £935m deal". BBC News. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Richard Wray (14 May 2003). "Deal marks the end for Warner Village". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Murray, Adam (April 2005). "Vue Entertainment Purchases Ster Century UK & Ireland" (Press release). BV Investment Partners. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Vue acquires rival Apollo for £20m". Financial Times. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Who Owns Britains Cinema Chains". DenofGeek. 
  9. ^ Vue Entertainment buys Polish Multikino
  10. ^ "Vue Entertainment International Completes Acquisition of The Space Entertainment S.p.A." 
  11. ^ "Vue International Acquires Second Largest Chain in the Netherlands". Corporate Vue. 
  12. ^ Vista Case Study: Vue Entertainment
  13. ^ "Premiere Cinema sold for £850,000". 27 May 2004. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  14. ^ "Cinema sale gives huge cash boost". 13 May 2004. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  15. ^ "It's a box office hit". 21 April 2005. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  16. ^ "Long awaited Vue cinema finally opens in Farnborough". GetHampshire. 
  17. ^ "Vue-Cinema Gets Green Light in Corby". Northants Telegraph. 
  18. ^ "Can Professional Video Gaming Take UK We Visit Opening Night First Esports Arena Find Out". CityAM. 
  19. ^ "Vue Gfinity Esports". Engadget. 


External links[edit]

  1. ^