Hoyts Group is an Australian group of companies, including Hoyts
Hoyts Kiosk and Val Morgan. The company operates more than
430 screens and over 65,000 seats. Val Morgan, the cinema advertising
arm of the
Hoyts Group, is
Australia and New Zealand’s leading
national supplier of cinema screen advertising with network coverage
of over 2,000 cinema screens covering metro, regional and country
areas. VMO is Val Morgan’s sister company offering digital screen
advertising in over 4,000 Out-of-Home environments in
New Zealand. In June 2015, the
Hoyts Group was wholly acquired by
Wanda Cinema Line, a subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda
Group, the largest commercial property developer in China and world's
largest cinema chain operator.
In the exhibition business, the largest part of the
Hoyts Group, their
main competitor is
Event Cinemas (partnered with
Village Cinemas in
Victoria and Tasmania) and smaller competitors include Wallis Cinemas,
Palace Cinemas, Dendy,
Reading Cinemas and the Avoca Beach Picture
Theatre (whom operate on a small scale in Australia).
2.2 Recliner Cinemas
3 Digital Cinema capital investment plans
6 Val Morgan
7 Home entertainment
8 See also
10 External links
Former logo of
At the start of the 20th century dentist Dr Arthur Russell, who was,
in his spare time, a cornet player and a magician, purchased a share
in a small American travelling circus, known as
Hoyts Circus, and
travelled with them as the resident magician. After a financially
disastrous run, Russell returned to his work as a dentist.
Undeterred, he leased the old St. Georges Hall in Bourke Street,
Melbourne (later known as the
Hoyts Esquire), and in 1908 began
showing short films on Saturday nights. Unlike his previous
venture, it was successful, and as a result, he formed a new company
Hoyts Pictures Pty. Ltd. By the time he died at the end of
World War I,
Hoyts had expanded into the suburbs of Melbourne, and
On September 29, 1926,
Hoyts and two other companies, Electric
Theatres Pty. Ltd. and Associated Theatres Pty. Ltd., merged to become
Hoyts Theatres Limited. On March 27, 1936, the Fox Family Pictures
logo (now Twentieth Century Fox) secured a major shareholding in the
In August 1982,
Twentieth Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox sold
Hoyts to a group of four
Melbourne businessmen. In April 1985, the Fink family subsequently
bought out the other partners to become the sole owner. The Finks
began to expand the company, into areas such as film distribution,
home entertainment, and cinema operations in New Zealand, the United
South America and Europe.
In 1987, the corporation was restructured and two of the companies in
the corporation were listed on the Australian Stock Exchange: Hoyts
Hoyts Entertainment. However, the company that owned the
Hoyts Cinemas, was not floated until 1996. The years between
1987 and 1996 saw considerable expansion, so that by 1994,
the 10th biggest cinema chain in the world and was owned by an
American investment company—Hellman and Friedman—directors and
senior management, and the Australian company Lend Lease Corporation.
The foyer of the eight-screen
Hoyts in Greensborough Plaza,
Greensborough, a north-eastern suburb of Melbourne. This picture was
taken in October 2012, and like many other national chains within this
shopping centre, Hoyts' old logo remains at the front.
Hoyts Cinemas was floated and in 1999, the late Kerry
Packer's private family company, Consolidated Press Holdings, bought
the chain for $620 million (A$745.3 million). After that,
to sell off cinemas. This trend began in 1999 when their Polish
operations were sold, and in 2000 when their UK operations were also
sold. In 2003,
Hoyts sold its
Hoyts America operations to Regal
Entertainment Group and
National Amusements with the remaining cinemas
sold to Boston, MA-based Northeast Cinemas (which acquired US rights
Hoyts brand name) or sold to independent operators or closed.
As of 2017, multiplexes in
Simsbury, CT and Linthicum Heights, MD
still operate under the
In 2004, it joined forces with
Village Roadshow and AHL to bail out
Val Morgan Cinema Advertising, eventually taking their stake to 100%
in 2005. In December that year, PBL and West Australian Newspapers
purchased the company from Consolidated Press Holdings.
On 29 March 2007,
Hoyts opened their latest cinema in Sylvia Park,
in Auckland, New Zealand—featuring what is now the largest
35 mm film screen in the world and bean bag seating.
In September 2007, PBL and WAN sold each of their 50% shares in the
Hoyts Group to Sydney-based private equity firm Pacific Equity
Partners. The sale valued the company at A$440 million.
In October 2008,
Hoyts announced a takeover bid for Australian
Multiplex Cinemas (AMC). The purchase did not proceed, although at the
Hoyts still hoped to return to Queensland, where previously they
had owned theatres in Brisbane and a three cinema complex in Surfers
Paradise on the Gold Coast.
On 17 March 2010 Australia's
Hoyts Corporation announced its intention
to expand its
New Zealand cinema operations with the purchase of
Barrie Everard's Berkeley Cinema Group. The two companies completed
the transaction in June 2010 after regulatory approval, adding four
New Zealand presence in Auckland.
In October 2010 it was announced that
Hoyts will acquire Australian
Multiplex Cinemas. This purchase was successfully completed in
In December 2014,
Hoyts was bought by Chinese billionaire Sun
Xishuang, who is believed to have paid up to A$900 million through his
investment company ID Leisure Ventures, based in the British Virgin
Islands. Most of the
Hoyts management were expected to be retained.
Sun has links to the Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda, which in 2012
bought the American cinema chain AMC Theatres.
On 2 June 2015 Wanda Cinema Line, a subsidiary of Dalian Wanda Group,
Hoyts from ID Leisure Ventures for an undisclosed amount,
speculated to be more than the AUD $900 million.
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HOYTS LUX offers cinema-goers the best seat in the house. Ticket
holders can use an exclusive bar before or after their chosen film,
with a selection of food and drinks. Food can also be delivered to a
customer's seat if he or she wants to eat or drink during the
screening. More details on
Hoyts LUX can be found here.
Hoyts were the first to market with powered recliner cinema
seats. The upgraded seats bring an all new meaning to your standard
trip to the cinema and make for an exceptional movie experience. The
powered recliners are now in 25
Hoyts cinema locations across
Xtremescreen cinemas boast the biggest screen and best sound in the
complex, with the screen at
Hoyts Blacktown being the largest at 28
metres wide. The cinema uses 4K digital projection for these screens.
Xtremescreen primarily uses
Dolby Digital Plus
Dolby Digital Plus as the system sound
Dolby Atmos is used in the newer cinemas. Many movies
can be screened with Xtremescreen, if they meet the chain's
Hoyts launched the first joint venture with
North America and opened three Digital
IMAX screens retrofitted into
existing theatres at their Carousel, Entertainment Quarter and
Highpoint multiplexes. The first film shown in
IMAX was the 2008
remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. Both 2D and 3D films are
Hoyts IMAX. Only selected
IMAX films are shown.
Main article: D-Box Technologies
D-Box is a brand new motion experience introduced in
Hoyts Te Awa,
located in Hamilton, New Zealand. The seats are coded via Motion Code,
and move interactively with the movie. This is not the first time the
company has experimented with motion simulation. In the mid-1990s
Hoyts previously operated a motion simulator ride at the Highpoint
cinema(in the location currently occupied by Imax), though it used
ride films instead of commercial blockbusters. It was called
"Cinemotion" and was created by Iwerks who also supplied the films
Digital Cinema capital investment plans
Hoyts Exhibition replaced all film equipment with Digital Cinema
equipment within an ambitious 18 month window, in preparation for the
sale of the
Hoyts group. The modernization of the
equipment to the current Hollywood mandated Digital Cinema standard,
is expected to cost the group somewhere in the order of 30 million
AUD. This amount is subsidized by the Virtual Print Fee received from
the participating Hollywood Studios. This 30M AUD cost is also
expected to be offset by the significant reduction in staffing
requirements (exhibitors in the USA are claiming a 90% reduction in
projection staff post-modernization). If
Hoyts follow through with
their capital investment plans, they stand a chance of relinquishing
their position as the lowest capital investor in the Australian cinema
Hoyts Distribution was the film distribution arm of the Group until
2012. It existed in its own right in the 1980s-early 1990s, and was
later merged with the distribution operations of Columbia TriStar and
20th Century Fox. In 2002, the company was brought back to life,
distributing primarily films produced by Nine Films and Television,
Channel 9's film production arm, and major independent studios, such
as Lions Gate Entertainment. In July 2012 it was acquired by
Cannon Films (1980–1995) (when
MGM Home Entertainment replaced
Summit Entertainment (2007–2013)
Hoyts Exhibition, the largest and most well-known arm of The Hoyts
Group, manages cinemas in five Australian states; the Australian
Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and
Hoyts Exhibition also operates 8 cinemas across New Zealand.
Hoyts were the original operator of the multi-screen cinema at the
Bluewater shopping mall in the UK, having been signed up by
Lend Lease Corporation
Lend Lease Corporation (also an Australian firm).
Hoyts also operated the 'Gallery' upmarket subsection to the Bluewater
cinema. A couple of years later,
Hoyts decided to exit the UK market
to concentrate on their operations in
Australia and New Zealand, as
the Bluewater site was their only UK operation, making the operation
uneconomical. Showcase Cinemas, an established UK cinema operator,
took over operation of the Bluewater cinema, though retained much
of the fabric, layout and design that had been introduced by Hoyts,
including The Gallery. (Showcase also operate the
Cinema de Lux
Cinema de Lux brand
of upmarket cinema but as of 2009 have not introduced this branding to
the Gallery at Bluewater).
Current logo of Val Morgan.
Val Morgan holds the advertising rights to virtually all advertising
Australia and almost all screens in New Zealand. In
Australia, this includes the circuits of Hoyts, Greater Union,
Village, Birch Carroll & Coyle, Wallis, Reading Cinemas,
Australian Multiplex Cinemas, Skycity Cinemas, Regent Cinemas and the
majority of independent cinemas.
In addition to on-screen advertising, Val Morgan is involved in such
cinema-based advertising opportunities as co-branding, poster boxes,
foyer displays and live advertisements. The company also operates
about 1000 digital advertising panels in over 200 shopping centres,
and the same number of TV screens in over 100 Australian petrol
Through a joint-venture with Motivate Publishing, the Gulf's leading
publisher of magazines and books, Val Morgan expanded its operations
into the United Arab Emirates, representing the advertising interests
of many key cinemas in the region.
In the 1980s and early 1990s,
Hoyts operated the local operations of
RCA/Columbia Pictures International Video, known as RCA-Columbia
Hoyts released approximately 12 new video titles
every month. These titles were typically made up of 2 A titles, 2 B
titles, 6 C titles (which would have included a "kids" movie and a
"classic" movie), and one or two "sell-through" titles. "Sell-through"
was the name that was given to the videos that were put on sale to the
public via their local video store.
Potentially one of the most successful video titles released by
Hoyts in the late 1980s was the original
RoboCop, starring Peter Weller (via an international distribution pact
RCA-Columbia had formed with Orion Pictures) .
By the 1990s, it was known as Columbia TriStar
Hoyts Home Video, but
Hoyts soon dropped out of the venture.
Hoyts Distribution releases are
distributed on DVD and Blu-ray by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
There were also three imprints the company had: First Release Home
Entertainment, which released B-movies, music, Thames Video, and some
mainstream releases; Video Box Office, which handled other B-movies,
HBO in the US, and other mainstream releases; and Magic
Window , which handled children's videos (the sub-label was used for
the same purpose by RCA-Columbia in North America).
Hoyts also had a joint venture with Polygram, forming
Video at the around the same time as their joint venture with
RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video. Their only well known release was
the film version of
New Zealand comic strip Footrot Flats, entitled
Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tale.
Birch Carroll & Coyle
The Movie Masters Cinema Group
Warner Village Cinemas
^ "RPT-China's Dalian Wanda buys Australian cinema chain Hoyts".
Reuters. 2 June 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
^ "St Georges Hall /
Hoyts De Luxe / Esquire, Melbourne". Cinema and
Audience Research Project. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
^ "Private equity firm swallows
Hoyts Group". The Age. Melbourne. 24
^ Gibson, Nevil (17 March 2010). "
Hoyts to buy out Barrie Everard's
Berkeley cinemas". National Business Review. Retrieved 3 October
^ Lynch, Jared (23 December 2014). "
Hoyts sold to investment firm ID
Leisure Ventures". The
Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney. Retrieved 10
^ Frater, Patrick (2 June 2015). "China's Wanda Buys Australia's Hoyts
Multiplex Chain". Variety. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
Hoyts Bluewater development
^ Showcase Bluewater website
^ a b "History". Val Morgan Cinema Network. Archived from the original
on 29 March 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
^ "Val Morgan Outdoor". Val Morgan Cinema Network. Archived from the
original on 29 March 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
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