Cinemas in Australia

Click here for Wikipedia links to Australia cinemas.

Hoyts Group (In Wiki, 38 locations)

Since 2015, owned by the Dalian Wanda group in China

1908 Hoyts Pictures started in Bourke Street Melbourne by Dr Arthur Russell (dentist and resident magician at Hoyts Circus, a small American travelling circus). By 1918 he had a cinema in Sydney. In 1926 he merged with two other companies. In 1932 Hoyts merged, briefly, with Greater Union Theatres, a much bigger chain but who were struggling financially.

1936 Fox Films in America, about to be a merger of two companies, Twentieth Century and Fox, became the major shareholder of Hoyts Pictures. In 1937, Greater Union Theatres removed itself from the previous merger.

1982 Twentieth Century Fox sold the Hoyts company to four Melbourne businessmen. By 1985, the Fink family had bought out the others. That same year in the US, a 50% share in Twentieth Century Fox was purchased by Rupert Murdoch, later to become a 100% share.

1987-1996 Major expansion of Hoyts Cinemas worldwide.

1996 Hoyts Cinemas floated on stock exchange.

1999 CPH i.e. Consolidated Press Holdings (Kerry Packer) purchases the chain for $US 620 million. Sells most of the overseas cinemas.

2004-2005 Hoyts first bails out and then purchases the struggling advertising company Val Morgan

2005 Hoyts sold by CPH to PBL (Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd) and WAN (West Australian Newspapers)

2007 Pacific Equity Partners purchases Hoyts from PBL and WAN for $440 million.

2010 Hoyts purchases Australian Multiplex Cinemas (AMC) a Qld chain (Sunnybank, Stafford, Redcliffe, Tweed Heads South)

2014 Sun Xishuang (ID Leisure Ventures) purchases Hoyts (for $750 million). Linked to Dalian Wanda Group.

2015 Wanda Cinema Line (Dalian Wanda Group) largest Chinese film distributor, world's largest cinema chain in June 2015 purchases Hoyts (430 screens)

Event Cinema Chain (In Wiki, 62 locations)

Owned by Event Hospitality and Entertainment
Effectively controlled by billionaire Alan Rydge, Sydney and his family companies

In 2003, it formed a joint venture Australian Theatres with Village Roadshow based in Melbourne

1913 West's Pictures, Spencer's Pictures, Amalalgamated Pictures, and Greater JD Williams Amusement Company form a four company partnership known as "Union Theatres" and "Australasian Films". Also known as The Combine.

1931 After twelve months of losses (July 1930-June 1931) Union Theatres liquidated. Greater Union Theatres (still with the four holding companies) purchase all the assets in October 1931. In June 1932, Australasian Films re-emerges as Cinesound Productions, making movies up to WW2.

August 1932 Greater Union merged with Hoyts, forming the General Film Corporation. One of Hoyts's shareholders at the time was Fox Family Films in America.

1936 Fox Films, about to become a merger of two companies in the USA, Twentieth Century-Fox, became the major shareholder of Hoyts.

1937 Norman Rydge, a Sydney man famous for "Rydges Business Journal", bought back control of Greater Union Theatres, removing the company from the previous merger.

1945-1984 British Rank Organization purchase a half-share of Greater Union immediately after the war.

1965 The four holding companies ownership in Greater Union Theatres was merged into the Rydge family company Amalgamated Holdings Ltd (AHL) and Greater Union Theatres was renamed as Greater Union Organization Pty Ltd.

1988 Greater Union invests in one-third of Village Cinemas alongside Warner Brothers and Village Roadshow.

Village Drive-Ins originally started in Croydon, Melbourne in 1954 by Roc Kirby. Roc Kirby retired as CEO in 1988, leaving the running of Village Roadshow to his sons, Robert and John, as chairman and deputy chairman, and "surrogate son", Graham Burke, as managing director. In late 2019, company veteran Graham Burke stepped down as CEO and became a non-executive director, with Clark Kirby his successor as CEO.
In 2020 Village Roadshow was purchased by private equity firm BGH Capital.

1991 AHL buys out Birch Carroll & Coyle Cinemas (BCC). BCC became a cinema chain in Queensland in 1923, with Edward Carroll (along with his brother Dan) having played a significant role as a producer as well as exhibiting silent films in Australia. He is reputed to have staged open-air screenings at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds as early as 1901.

2003 Warner Brothers sells its stake in Village Cinemas to its two Australian partners.
Australian Theatres is subsequently formed as a joint venture between them both i.e. Village Roadshow and Amalgamated Holdings Limited (AHL).

2009 Greater Union Cinemas begins rebranding itself as Event Cinemas - with over 50 venues.

2015 In December 2015, Amalgamated Holdings Ltd (AHL) changed its name to Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited.

Cineplex Australia (QLD based chain)

Owned by Merricum Pty Ltd, 168 Oxford St, Bulimba with Key Principal Leonardo Catalano

Balmoral-Hawthorne, Redbank, Nerang, Victoria Point and South Bank

** End notes