by: Dick Stroud
Vue Entertainment the third biggest cinema chain in the UK, with 58 multiplex theatres across the country and in Ireland. There are plans to build another 20 before the end of 2008.
The guy behind Vue Entertainment wants to break away from the "nightclub feel" of UK cinemas in the 1990s, which he felt alienated a very large segment of the cinema going audience
"We wanted to make cinemas more accessible and accommodating to a broader group of people, especially greying baby boomers," he says. "These are the people with higher disposable income and more leisure time, yet their needs are not being catered to."
So the first thing he did when he acquired the Warner cinemas was "turn the music down and turn the lights up."
"We invested fairly heavily to give the cinemas a new and more upmarket look," he says. "It's no longer the horrible old flea pit or the loud flashing discotheque that made families and older people stop going to the cinemas so many years ago."
After the baby boomers, the group wants to broaden the cinema going experience to immigrant groups such as Asians, Turks and Poles. Nowadays, Vue's programming not only boasts Bollywood and Turkish films, but also includes showings of films such as Borat with Polish subtitles in west London.
Vue definitely seems to have ‘got it’.