Features





Vue@10: Leading U.K. circuit expands on the continent

June 21, 2013

-By Andreas Fuchs


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1379038-Vue_at_Ten_Md.jpg

Steve Knibbs, Tim Richards and Alan McNair

“One thing I always loved was the headline in The Times of London on the front page of the business section,” says Tim Richards, chief executive officer of Vue Entertainment. “It took us two-and-a-half years to negotiate and complete,” he notes about the seminal deal that became the foundation of the company that we are celebrating with this special section. “What they wrote in the headline was: ‘Unknown Bit Player Buys Warner Village Cinemas.’ I always loved that,” he heartily laughs. “It keeps us humble and helps us remain true to our entrepreneurial roots.”

Today, under the continuing guidance of Tim Richards and his deputy CEO and chief financial officer, Alan McNair, Vue Entertainment operates 144 state-of-the-art cinemas with over 1,300 screens in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Taiwan. With 66 million customers and more than £550 million (US$830.6 mil.; €642.4 mil.) of annual turnover, Vue has remained “a very entrepreneurial company at its core.”

Before providing additional details in our exclusive interview, Richards tells our readers one of the reasons why. “Everyone that joined our company left senior positions with top companies. They really rolled the dice with Alan and me because we had nothing other than a dream to build something. That doesn’t pay your bills, especially when you have young families,” he notes, giving credit to the Vue executive team. “We didn’t even have an office during the first three years because we wanted to keep our costs down.”

In those early days, Richards managed to keep his spirits up until all that hard work of the founding team was well-rewarded. “When we signed the Warner Village deal on May 13, 2003,” he recalls with obvious pride, “it was not only the end of what felt like an endless journey on that deal, it was the beginning of what we knew then was going to be something much bigger. We had laid our foundation… No one thought we would ever be able to acquire the Warner Village circuit. To be able to complete that acquisition with the support of everybody at Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow, who put their trust in us, was a really big thing and a major turning point for all of us.”

“It sounds clichéd, but it is absolutely true,” Richards continues regarding the team effort. “As a company, Vue Entertainment has succeeded completely through the strength and efforts of a passionate group of executives who have worked seriously hard and love what they do. It’s not about me or Alan…it’s about the entire team: We have built this company together. Alan and I have been a large part of its success by steering and directing it, but this has ultimately been completely the result of a team effort.”

With teamwork at the core, does Richards have any other secrets to share with our readers about Vue’s success? “One of our qualities that we pride ourselves in is how highly analytical we are. We analyze the hell out of absolutely everything,” he says. “We also pride ourselves in being highly innovative. Every day of the week of every month, we are constantly trying to find some new way of doing business: a different way of operating, some new product, services or whatever it might be. We are constantly [trying to] find a better way.”

The following conversations with key executives on his wayfinder team— Stuart Boreman, Roland Jones, Steve Knibbs and Geoff Moore talking about programming, networks, operations and design—wholeheartedly support Tim Richards’ vision. “We have always set out to be the best that we could possibly be. Our goal was never to be the biggest, although becoming bigger is frequently the byproduct of being the best. But you have to manage your growth very carefully. Professionally and personally, it has always been far more important to us to be the best operator than to be the biggest operator. And that’s why we have managed our organic and acquisition growth in order to maintain the high level of quality at our cinemas that is so important to us.”


Vue@10: Leading U.K. circuit expands on the continent

June 21, 2013

-By Andreas Fuchs


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1379038-Vue_at_Ten_Md.jpg

“One thing I always loved was the headline in The Times of London on the front page of the business section,” says Tim Richards, chief executive officer of Vue Entertainment. “It took us two-and-a-half years to negotiate and complete,” he notes about the seminal deal that became the foundation of the company that we are celebrating with this special section. “What they wrote in the headline was: ‘Unknown Bit Player Buys Warner Village Cinemas.’ I always loved that,” he heartily laughs. “It keeps us humble and helps us remain true to our entrepreneurial roots.”

Today, under the continuing guidance of Tim Richards and his deputy CEO and chief financial officer, Alan McNair, Vue Entertainment operates 144 state-of-the-art cinemas with over 1,300 screens in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Taiwan. With 66 million customers and more than £550 million (US$830.6 mil.; €642.4 mil.) of annual turnover, Vue has remained “a very entrepreneurial company at its core.”

Before providing additional details in our exclusive interview, Richards tells our readers one of the reasons why. “Everyone that joined our company left senior positions with top companies. They really rolled the dice with Alan and me because we had nothing other than a dream to build something. That doesn’t pay your bills, especially when you have young families,” he notes, giving credit to the Vue executive team. “We didn’t even have an office during the first three years because we wanted to keep our costs down.”

In those early days, Richards managed to keep his spirits up until all that hard work of the founding team was well-rewarded. “When we signed the Warner Village deal on May 13, 2003,” he recalls with obvious pride, “it was not only the end of what felt like an endless journey on that deal, it was the beginning of what we knew then was going to be something much bigger. We had laid our foundation… No one thought we would ever be able to acquire the Warner Village circuit. To be able to complete that acquisition with the support of everybody at Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow, who put their trust in us, was a really big thing and a major turning point for all of us.”

“It sounds clichéd, but it is absolutely true,” Richards continues regarding the team effort. “As a company, Vue Entertainment has succeeded completely through the strength and efforts of a passionate group of executives who have worked seriously hard and love what they do. It’s not about me or Alan…it’s about the entire team: We have built this company together. Alan and I have been a large part of its success by steering and directing it, but this has ultimately been completely the result of a team effort.”

With teamwork at the core, does Richards have any other secrets to share with our readers about Vue’s success? “One of our qualities that we pride ourselves in is how highly analytical we are. We analyze the hell out of absolutely everything,” he says. “We also pride ourselves in being highly innovative. Every day of the week of every month, we are constantly trying to find some new way of doing business: a different way of operating, some new product, services or whatever it might be. We are constantly [trying to] find a better way.”

The following conversations with key executives on his wayfinder team—Stuart Boreman, Roland Jones, Steve Knibbs and Geoff Moore talking about programming, networks, operations and design—wholeheartedly support Tim Richards’ vision. “We have always set out to be the best that we could possibly be. Our goal was never to be the biggest, although becoming bigger is frequently the byproduct of being the best. But you have to manage your growth very carefully. Professionally and personally, it has always been far more important to us to be the best operator than to be the biggest operator. And that’s why we have managed our organic and acquisition growth in order to maintain the high level of quality at our cinemas that is so important to us.”
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Cinemas

ShowEast
ShowEast 30: Exhibitors to network at Hollywood, Florida convention

It won’t be a record-breaking year, but as delegates journey to Hollywood, Florida, for the 30th annual ShowEast Convention More »

Premium Large Format
A bigger picture: Tracking the growth of Premium Large Format

A premium large-format cinema screen (PLF) is a clearly defined, technologically superior product, which can be marketed at a premium. In technology terms, 3D began the notion of a premium concept, but as 3D is now established in 39.3% of modern screens, cinema exhibitors believe they have found a new revenue driver in PLF. More »

TK Article 2014
Designing for diversity: New demographics and global expansion impact cinema planning

Design results from many factors including location, context and surroundings, client programs, objectives and preferences, and budget. In cinema design, technology is always a major factor. More »

Woodstock feature
Woodstock wonder: Classic Cinemas cement their commitment with historic remake and expansion

“The Woodstock Theatre project took monumentally long. It was challenging,” admits Willis Johnson. “But it was well worth the entire effort.” More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

John Wick
Film Review: John Wick

Retired hit man seeks revenge on Russian mob in an above-average action film. More »

Fury Review
Film Review: Fury

American tanks fight superior German forces in the closing days of World War II. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here