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Cineworld Group plc is the second largest cinema operator in Europe with 2000 screens[1] in 9 countries.[2] The UK operations consist of arthouse chain Picturehouse Cinemas and multiplex chain Cineworld Cinemas with 24 and of 82 cinemas respectively. All but two Cineworld sites are located in the UK, with one each in Ireland and Jersey. Cineworld is the second-largest cinema operator in the UK with over 800 screens, and the owner of the single largest multiplex by screens and customer base in Ireland.[3] Cineworld Glasgow Renfrew Street is the tallest cinema in the world and the busiest, by customer base, in the UK.[4] The Cineworld site with the greatest number of screens is that located at Valley Centertainment in Sheffield, which has 20.[5] It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


The first Cineworld opened in Stevenage, Hertfordshire in July 1996; the second, in a purpose-built location in Wakefield, Yorkshire, followed in late 1996, with Shrewsbury, Shropshire, following in November 1998. Additional sites were opened at a steady rate throughout the late '90s and early 2000s; in 2005, Cineworld also took over the UK and Ireland operations of French cinema company UGC. (As part of the merger, seven locations were sold to Empire Cinemas, due to UK fair trading law: Birmingham Great Park, Bishop's Stortford, Ealing, Slough, Sunderland, Swindon and Wigan.)

The Blackstone Group invested in Cineworld in 2004 when it was privately owned, and remained the largest shareholder in Cineworld Group PLC until it sold its entire remaining 20% shareholding in November 2010.[6]

Post-merger, Cineworld have continued to open new locations; as of 2015, Cineworld have 82 locations in the UK, Ireland and Jersey and have a number of new locations in the pipeline.

In August 2013, The Guardian revealed that Cineworld employs 80% of its 4,300 staff on zero hour contracts.[7]

In October 2013, The Chester location was closed due to the landowner wanting to develop the land into a supermarket. This has been the first Cineworld to close without being sold and was the first cinema to leave the chain in 8 years.

In 2014 Cineworld's Picturehouse chain was subject to industrial action owing to its refusal to pay the London Living Wage to its staff. The workforce attracted the support of Eric Cantona.[8]

On 27 February 2014 Cineworld completed the takeover of Cinema City International N.V..[9] In what can be seen to be a partial reverse takeover, the Greidinger family (who owned a controlling 54% stake in Cinema City International) hold a controlling bloc as the largest shareholders in the newly formed company.[10]


Each Cineworld cinema has between 1 and 20 screens, which typically show mainstream general-release films. Some Cineworlds also show broadcasts of opera, theatre, live music and sports. All Cineworlds also have a retail area, where food and drink such as popcorn, nachos or hotdogs can be purchased, Candyking pick and mix outlets are available at the majority of cinemas. Various cinemas sell Ben and Jerry's ice cream but many were switched to Baskin Robbins in late 2013-early 2014 as part of that brand's UK expansion. CafeBars and small amusement arcades can also be found at some cinemas. In October 2012, Cineworld began to replace some of its CafeBars with Starbucks Coffee outlets after agreeing a deal with the coffee chain.

As of September 2013, nine Cineworld cinemas have IMAX screens, and eight have D-BOX technology. As new sites open contracts have been signed for installs of both along with further installs of IMAX screens at older sites. Following a recent refit, the Milton Keynes cinema has acquired both a "Superscreen" and a 4DX screen, the first in the UK. Cineworld intends to roll out further "Superscreen" and 4DX screens to other sites in the future.

The majority of Cineworld cinemas offer a kids club named "Movies for Juniors", which screen selected children's films on Saturday & Sunday mornings at a discounted rate, and daily during school holidays.

In June 2011, Cineworld began a trial of a premium cinema brand, The Screening Rooms. Located next to the Cheltenham cinema, The Screening Rooms offers considerably larger, leather seating, premium food, and 'table' service.[11]

Cineworld was the only cinema chain in the United Kingdom to operate a 'strict no food and drink policy'[12] on items that have been bought elsewhere,[13] but in November 2012 the food policy was changed and now states that "neither alcohol nor hot food may be brought onto the premises".[14]

In early 2014 Cineworld introduced an allocated seating system, starting as a trial in selected sites including Wembley and rolling out to all their cinemas by the summer.[15] The move was controversial and a Twitter campaign was created against this policy.[16] Cineworld have responded to the criticism stating that it gives customers peace of mind along with other benefits.[17]

Membership schemes

Cineworld offers a subscription service using a membership card - the "Unlimited Card" - which provides subscribers with unlimited entrance for a set price per month, and currently 10% off all food and drink.[18] It is the only type of cinema subscription service available in the UK, Ireland and Jersey. Admission to 3D features incurs an additional fee, and does not include the cost of 3D glasses. The standard Unlimited card does not grant access to Cineworld's three West End cinemas (Chelsea, Haymarket and Fulham Road); these require the purchase of a more expensive West End Unlimited card. Using the Unlimited branding, Cineworld also published a free monthly magazine entitled Unlimited, presenting information about upcoming movies the chain will be exhibiting. As of Summer 2012 however, the Unlimited name was removed from the magazine and the subsequently the magazine was simply renamed as Cineworld Magazine.

As of 26 November 2012, Unlimited members of 12 months continuous membership will be upgraded to the Unlimited Premium Card which grants 25% off all food and drink bought in cinema, 10% off Starbucks (on site only) and no uplift fees on 3D films.

In addition to the paid Unlimited scheme, Cineworld offer a free membership scheme called "myCineworld", which allows members a 10% discount on tickets when booking online and with allocated seating offers the member 'the best seats in the auditorium' when booking in advance.


Current locations

Site Screens (#) Origin Notes
AberdeenQueens Links 9 UGC
AberdeenUnion Square 10 Cineworld
Aldershot 7 Cineworld D-Box
Ashford 12 Cineworld
Ashton-under-Lyne 14 Cineworld IMAX
Bedford 6 UGC Further 3 Screens opening Q2 2015
BirminghamBroad Street 12 UGC IMAX
BirminghamNEC 11 Cineworld Located at Resorts World near the NEC. IMAX, Starbucks Coffee, Baskin Robbins - Opened 23 October 2015
Boldon Tyne and Wear 11 UGC Starbucks Coffee
Bolton 15 UGC Starbucks Coffee
Bradford 16 Cineworld
Braintree 12 Cineworld
Brighton 8 UGC
Bristol 12 Cineworld
Broughton 11 Cineworld IMAX , Starbucks Coffee
Burton upon Trent 9 Cineworld
Bury St Edmunds 8 Cineworld
Cardiff 15 UGC
Castleford 14 Cineworld D-Box, IMAX
Cheltenham 11 Cineworld IMAX, The Screening Rooms
Chesterfield 10 Cineworld
Chichester 10 Cineworld IMAX
Crawley 15 UGC D-Box, IMAX, Starbucks Coffee, Superscreen and 4DX under construction
Didcot 5 Cineworld
Didsbury 11 UGC D-Box
Dublin 17 UGC IMAX, Baskin Robbins
Dundee 9 UGC
Eastbourne 6 UGC
Edinburgh 13 UGC IMAX, Starbucks Coffee
Falkirk 12 Cineworld Starbucks Coffee
GlasgowIMAX at GSC 1 Cineworld IMAX, Starbucks Coffee
GlasgowParkhead 7 UGC
GlasgowRenfrew Street 18 UGC D-Box
GlasgowSilverburn Centre 14 Cineworld Superscreen, Starbucks Coffee, Baskin Robbins - Opened 26 June 2015
Gloucester 10 Cineworld
Harlow 6 UGC
Haverhill 5 Cineworld
High Wycombe 12 Cineworld
Hull 9 UGC
Huntingdon 10 Cineworld
Ipswich 11 UGC IMAX, Starbucks Coffee
Isle of Wight 11 Cineworld
Jersey 10 Cineworld
Leigh 7 Cineworld
Liverpool 8 UGC
Llandudno 9 Cineworld
LondonBexleyheath 9 Cineworld
LondonChelsea 4 UGC
LondonEnfield 15 UGC IMAX, Starbucks Coffee
LondonFeltham 14 Cineworld
LondonFulham Road 6 UGC
LondonHammersmith 4 UGC
LondonHaymarket 3 UGC
LondonIlford 11 Cineworld
LondonStaples Corner 6 UGC
LondonThe O2, Greenwich 11 Vue D-Box, Sky Superscreen
LondonWandsworth 14 Cineworld
LondonWembley 9 Cineworld D-Box, Starbucks Coffee
LondonWest India Quay 10 UGC
LondonWood Green 12 Cineworld
Luton 11 Cineworld
Middlesbrough 11 UGC
Milton Keynes 16 Cineworld 4DX, Starbucks Coffee, Superscreen
Newport - Friars Walk 8 Cineworld Baskin Robbins
Newport - Spytty Park 13 UGC Starbucks Coffee
Northampton 9 UGC Starbucks Coffee
Nottingham 14 WarnerVillage IMAX
Rugby 9 Cineworld
Runcorn 9 Cineworld
Sheffield 20 UGC IMAX, Starbucks Coffee
Shrewsbury 8 Cineworld
Solihull 9 Cineworld
Southampton 5 UGC
St Helens 11 Cineworld
St Neots 6 Cineworld
Stevenage 16 Cineworld IMAX
Stockport 10 UGC
Strood 9 UGC
Swindon - Shaw Ridge 7 UGC
Swindon - Regent Circus 6 Cineworld
Telford 11 Cineworld IMAX, D-Box, Starbucks Coffee
Wakefield 9 Cineworld
Weymouth 9 Cineworld
Whiteley 9 Cineworld Baskin Robbins
Witney 5 Cineworld
Wolverhampton 14 Cineworld
Yeovil 10 Cineworld Baskin Robbins

Planned locations

Site Screens Notes
Bracknell 12 inc. IMAX Opening Spring 2017, as part of The Lexicon.[19]
Dover 6 As part of the St. James Development, Opening 2016.
Ely, Cambridgeshire 6 As part of Ely Leisure Village, Opening 2016.
Harlow - Harvey Centre 6 As part of Harvey Centre plans, Opening 2016.
Hinckley 5 As part of Crescent Bus Station plans, Opening 2015.[20]
Keighley 8 Opening 2016.
Macclesfield 9 Opening 2016.
Murton, County Durham 7 As part of Dalton Park, Opening May 2016.[21]
Oswestry 5 Opening 2015.
Hanley, Staffordshire 9 Opening 2015 [22]
Plymouth 12 inc. IMAX Opening mid-2018
Ruislip 10 Opening 2015.
Trowbridge 8 Opening 2016 however work appears to have stopped and the land is back on the market.[23]
Watford 11 inc. IMAX Opening May 2017.
Leeds - White Rose Centre 11 inc. IMAX Opening date unknown
Yate - Yate Riverside 6 Opening Spring 2016

Former locations

Site Screens Origin Notes
BirminghamGreat Park 13 UGC Sold to Empire Cinemas in 2005.
Bishop's Stortford 6 Cineworld Sold to Empire Cinemas in 2005.
Cambridge 9 Cineworld Sold To Light Cinemas 2015.
Chester 6 UGC Closed 10 October 2013.
Ealing 3 UGC Sold to and now closed by Empire Cinemas since early 2009 for "redevelopment"
GloucesterPeel Centre 6 UGC Closed 5 December 2013. Replaced by new cinema at Gloucester Quays development.
LondonShaftesbury Avenue 7 UGC Closed 21 September 2014. Re-opened under Cineworld's Picturehouse Cinemas brand in spring 2015.[24]
Sunderland 12 Cineworld Sold to Empire Cinemas in 2005
Slough 10 UGC Sold to Empire Cinemas in 2005.
Swindon — Greenbridge 12 Cineworld Swindon was the only place to have a UGC & Cine-UK therefore had two Cineworld Cinemas for a brief time. Sold to Empire Cinemas in 2005.
Wigan 11 UGC Sold to Empire Cinemas in 2005.

See also



External links


Template:FTSE 250 Index constituents Template:Major UK Cinema Chains

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  1. Cineworld 2000 Screens Milestone
  2. Cinemas - Global City Holdings
  3. Cineworld PLC | The Market
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