The site was created by Jeremy Perkins in 1995, originally as a contribution to the new 'world wide web' as part of his work in university computer services. Jeremy is a long-standing member of the Cinema Theatre Association; he recalls his first visit with the CTA was to the Odeon at Aylesbury in July 1981. To show how times have changed, that cinema has since closed and been replaced by a multiplex!
Jeremy updated the listings until March 2016, when I took over. I am also a CTA member, with a specialist interest in purpose-built multiplexes.
The UK exhibition scene is changing all the time, so I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has any updates, amendments and/or additions. I would especially appreciate information about refurbished multiplexes, which often results in a much lower seating capacity.
I hope you enjoy browsing around this site.
NOTES AND CAVEATS
This list is updated from a number of sources including e-mails from correspondents and Newsreel items in the CTA Bulletin. I would very much like to thank everyone who sends in corrections and updates.
In particular, the ongoing programme of multiplex refurbishment often leads to much reduced seating capacities. As this is not easy to keep track of, seating capacities for multiplexes should be viewed with some caution.
These lists are in no way official. Every care should be taken in their use, and they should be checked against official data if any decision rests on the information.
UK CINEMA CIRCUIT LINKS
Arc Based in Ireland. Moved into the UK in December 2019 with the re-opening of the former Royalty in Great Yarmouth and plans for further expansion.
Cineworld Founded in 1995 as Cine UK (trading as Cineworld the Movies). Includes multiplexes opened by Cannon, MGM, Virgin and UGC.
Curzon Art-house circuit. The web site includes a short history of each cinema.
Empire Created in 2005 through the acquisition of cinemas divested following the merger of Odeon and UCI. Further cinemas were added in 2006 following the Cineworld acquisition of UGC. [The circuit entered administration in July 2023.]
Everyman Independent art-house circuit. The web site includes photographs and information about each cinema.
Light Launched on the continent in 2008, since 2011 the company has been rapidly developing a number of multiplex cinemas in England.
Merlin Independent circuit, mostly operating in Cornwall and Devon.
Movie House Independent circuit in Northern Ireland.
Northern Morris Independent circuit with six traditional cinemas. The web site contains photographs and a full history of each cinema.
Odeon Terra Firma equity group acquired the Odeon cinemas from Cinven equity group in 2000, adding the UCI cinemas in 2004 to create a combined Odeon-branded circuit. This was acquired by US-based AMC Entertainment, owned by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda, in July 2016. In October 2017 Odeon began the roll-out of their luxury "Luxe" branding.
Omniplex Based in the Irish Republic, this circuit operates extensively across Northern Ireland.
Parkway Independent company with four cinemas.
Picturehouse Art-house circuit founded in 1989. Acquired by Cineworld in 2012, it is separately named and managed.
Reel Founded in 2001, this independent circuit comprises a mix of traditional cinemas and new-build multiplexes.
Savoy Independent company with cinemas in the English Midlands.
Scott Independent circuit, mostly based in the English West Country. The web site includes a history of each cinema. In April 2017 a substantial shareholding was acquired by WTW Cinemas.
Showcase All-multiplex circuit owned by American company National Amusements. Cinemas are branded as 'Showcase' or 'Showcase de Lux'.
Tivoli A luxury brand operated by Empire, which opened its first cinema in Bath in December 2018.
Vue Founded in 2003 when exhibitor SBC acquired the Warner Village circuit. Among further acquisitions have been the Ster Century and Apollo circuits.
West Coast Cinemas Operates cinemas in Dunoon and Greenock, in Scotland.
WTW Independent circuit with four cinemas in Cornwall. In April 2017 WTW took a substantial shareholding in Scott Cinemas.
CINEMA RELATED LINKS
American Widescreen Museum Devoted in particular to the various widescreen and large format processes, but also covers other technical matters of exhibition.
British Board of Film Classification Founded in 1912 as the British Board of Film Censors, this web site the UK film classification system and provides information about the classification of individual films.
British Film Institute Promotes film production, education and exhibition in the UK and operates the BFI Southbank cinema (originally the National Film Theatre). The BFI used to publish an annual Film Handbook, on which this list was originally based when it was first put on the internet in the summer of 1995.
Cinema Theatre Association A hobby group for those interested in all aspects of cinema buildings, from traditional cinemas to modern multiplexes. The bi-monthly CTA Bulletin is a valuable source of information for this site.
CinemaTour This photographic record of cinemas worldwide was founded in 1997.
Cinema Treasures Founded in 2000, this site chronicles cinemas world-wide, including almost 7,000 in the UK.
Digital Cinema Media Owned by Odeon and Cineworld (and also supplying Vue) this cinema advertising company was established in 2008.
Dusashenka's Cinema Photos Chronicles cinemas on the Flickr web site.
Event Cinema Association Promotes 'event' cinema presentations on behalf of distributors and exhibitors and helps raise public awareness.
Film Distributors' Association Trade body for UK theatrical film distributors.
Guardian Film Within the web site of The Guardian newspaper. Covers all aspects of films, including exhibition.
Historic England Archive covering historic buildings. Has entries for over 3,000 cinemas, including over 1,700 on-line cinema photographs.
Independent Cinema Office Supports independent film exhibition in the UK and includes a clickable map indicating venues.
Odeon & UCI Cinema Group General and financial information on the company, including European activities.
Pearl and Dean Screen advertising company. The web site also contains information about film exhibition, the latest news, reviews, cinema listings and more.
Projected Picture Trust Established in 1978, the PPT promotes and preserves cinema projection equipment.
Scottish Cinemas and Theatres Project Chronicles cinemas, past and present, in Scotland.
UK Cinema Association Formerly the Cinema Exhibitor's Association, UKCA is the trade body representing a large number of both circuit and independent UK cinemas. A range of statistics on cinemas can be found under 'The Industry' > 'Facts and Figures'.
Subtitles Promotes subtitled cinema presentations for the hard of hearing.