UCI CINEMAS (United Cinemas International) is a brand of cinema, currently operating in Austria, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Brazil. All territories with the exception of Brazil (where UCI cinemas are owned by National Amusements ) are owned by Odeon Cinemas Group whose ultimate owner is AMC Theatres .
* 1 History
* 2 Current locations
* 2.1 Austria * 2.2 Brazil * 2.3 Germany * 2.4 Italy * 2.5 Portugal
* 3 References * 4 External links
UCI was formed in 1989 through a merger of AMC and CIC theatres, and operated as a partnership of Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios initially to build cinemas in the UK. Under chairman Tom McGrath , the group expanded to build and operate cinemas in Austria, Brazil, China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, and the UK.
In the UK, the company operated cinemas under the UCI and (later) thefilmworks brands, and initially enjoyed a sizeable market share. They took over the first multiplex cinema in the UK which was operated and opened by AMC at The Point in Milton Keynes in 1985, and were one of the first to purchase a digital projector – costing a massive £130,000 – one out of only 30 worldwide. This enabled them to download films via satellite, and also play digital media disks rather than film.
The cinemas were, by and large, fairly simplistic in design and seemed steeped in 1980s traditions that quickly became dated. However, a later purchase by Terra Firma (see below) saw the chain merged with Odeon cinemas and henceforth adopting the far plusher Odeon style.
In late 2004, the European division of UCI was bought by Terra Firma Capital Partners , along with rival chain Odeon Cinemas . The majority of UK UCI and thefilmworks cinemas were re-branded to use the Odeon name. As a condition of the merger with Odeon Cinemas (imposed by the Office of Fair Trading ), UCI Clydebank, UCI Poole, UCI Sutton, UCI Basildon, The Empire Leicester Square and thefilmworks High Wycombe were sold to Empire Cinemas . Since the merger has been completed, few elements of former UCI cinemas still retain the UCI look and feel, they now almost all share the standard Odeon design cues, except for a handful of the former "Filmworks" brand whose designs did not lend themselves well to an Odeon "look". The UCI, UCI/Kinowelt and Cinesa brands will remain in Ireland and the rest of Europe. UCI Hull was evicted at around this time due to redevelopment. As there was already an Odeon there, it was not replaced.
Irish cinemas, although retaining the UCI name, are being managed as
Odeon Cinemas and have introduced parts of their offer, such
as Premier seating and the Odeon inhouse magazine, "Onscreen".
Advertising now also bears the Odeon logo font in many cases. In
August 2007, UCI launched a new Irish website with an identical layout
to odeon.co.uk. The Irish cinemas were sold to an Irish group,
Entertainment Enterprises, in September 2006, but continued to be run
by Odeon under a management contract. In April 2008, Entertainment
Enterprises announced that it would be acquiring the Storm Cinemas
chain with the exception of the
Irish cinemas were re-branded under the ODEON name in 2012 to coincide with the new cinema opening at the Point Village in Dublin, as of the end of 2013 the UCI name is no longer used in any cinemas in the UK ">
* ^ "AMC CINEMAS® BRINGS THE MULTIPLEX TO THE UNITED KINGDOM". Retrieved 3 January 2015. * ^ "How multiplex cinemas saved the British film industry 25 years ago". The Guardian. 25 November 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2015. * ^