A MAJOR UK-BASED cinema group has added two more Irish locations to its portfolio.
Vue Entertainment has acquired Showtime Cinemas, which has screens in Ashbourne, Co Meath, and Limerick’s Ennis Road Retail Park.
The international entertainment group will take over the operation of the two cinemas at the beginning of July. The venues will be closed for several days before being reopened to customers on 6 July.
In Ireland, Vue already operates the highest-grossing multiplex in the country – the 14-screen cinema at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre.
Kevin Styles, managing director for Vue UK and Ireland, said that the Showtime Cinemas deal will give the company the opportunity to bring its “premium big-screen experience to more customers in Ireland”.
Vue did not disclose how much the deal is worth. The acquisition takes the company’s total portfolio in the UK and Ireland to 854 screens across 89 sites.
Vue International has operations in 10 countries, including Germany, Denmark, Italy, Poland and Taiwan, and posted turnover of £789.9 million last year.
The two Irish-based Showtime Cinemas venues that have been acquired are both located in retail parks, with six screens in Ashbourne and seven in Limerick.
Patrick O’Sullivan, founder of Showtime Cinemas, said that the business has built up a “loyal and knowledgeable following among the cinema-going public in Ashbourne and Limerick”.
For the year ending 30 April 2018, accumulated losses at Showtime’s parent company deepened to €1.2 million.
However, accounts show that the two cinemas in Ashbourne and Limerick both turned a profit last year.