Cineworld, the entertainment brand, has purchased the cinema chain Picturehouse which owns the Oxford Phoenix and the South London Ritzy cinema. The deal is expected to be worth about £47.3m and will make Picturehouse co-founder Lyn Goleby a multi-millionaire.
The deal is an off one given the fact that it will unite two very different types of cinemas together. Picturehouse traditionally caters to the more highbrow and independent audience whereas the mass-market multiplexes of Cineworld tends to cater to young adults that want to see the latest 3D blockbuster films.
Cineworld, which owns about 80 cinemas across the nation, stressed that they will not be changing the way that Picturehouse is run or what type of films it plays as the new owners of the company. Instead it pledged to continue to run the cinemas as their own entities with the same staff members staying in their places.
Goleby is also going to remain the managing director of the Picturehouse management team along with the rest of the former management team which includes Clare Binns the programming director.
However, the financial clout of Cineworld is going to allow the indie chain to open up ten new cinemas starting in 2014. As Picturehouse is already the largest independent film studio in Britain, this will clearly give it the edge.The news of the purchase happened to coincide with the opening of the 21st Picturehouse cinema in Brighton called The Duke’s at the Komedia.
As part of the deal, Cineworld will also own the distribution arm of the company which has spawned the 2010 hit film My Afternoons With Margueritte and the most recent Liberal Arts which is also quickly becoming a cult classic in its own right. Goleby first founded the chain in 1989.