Village Roadshow Limited is an Australian media company with interests in cinema, theme parks, film production and distribution. The company is a publicly listed entity on the Australian Securities Exchange. It is majority owned by Village Roadshow Corporation, run by John Kirby, Robert Kirby and Graham Burke.
Village Roadshow originally commenced operations as Village Drive-Ins (later known as "Village Drive-ins and Cinemas" before becoming today's "Village Cinemas" brand), in 1954, when founder Roc Kirby began running one of Australia's first drive-in cinemas in the Melbourne suburb of Croydon. The drive-in was adjacent to a shopping strip called "Croydon Village"; hence the company adopted the "Village" name. The company later expanded into traditional cinemas in major areas, though it still operates the Coburg Drive-In in Coburg.
In the 1960s the company expanded to start its film distribution business (once a 50-50 joint venture with Greater Union) and moved into film production in the 1970s. The original cinema chain now became one of several businesses the company was involved in.
In the 1980s, Village Roadshow was one of the leading forces in creating state of the art multiplex cinema complexes. Innovations brought in during this period included using stadium-style seating, sophisticated sound systems and the latest in projection technologies. The cinemas of that era were the forerunners to the multiplexes of today.
In 1988, Village Roadshow took over De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, which brought on a change of name: Village Roadshow Limited. This allowed the company to raise more capital to fund further expansion.
In the 1990s, the company diversified into complementary media and entertainment businesses. This included the purchase and development of theme parks, the purchase and integration of the Triple M and Today radio networks to create Austereo Group Limited, the creation of Village Roadshow Pictures, and the commencement of a co-production deal with Warner Bros.
Village Roadshow has scaled back its international cinema markets to Australia and Singapore. The company merged its Village Roadshow Pictures arm with Concord Music Group to form a Los Angeles-based diversified entertainment division, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group.
In 2003, the company formed a joint venture, Australian Theatres, with Amalgamated Holdings Limited, owners of Greater Union and several other cinema brands. The original founding business, Village Cinemas, is part of the joint venture.
In 2008, Village Roadshow and Concord Music Group, co-owned by television producer Norman Lear, said they completed a merger forming a new company to exploit their film and music assets. Investors in the new company include Lambert Entertainment and private equity firms Tailwind Capital Partners and Clarity Partners. However, on March 25, 2013, Wood Creek Capital led investor group purchased Concord Music Group from Village Roadshow Entertainment Group.
- Village Cinemas (the original business)
- Roadshow Entertainment
- Village Roadshow Entertainment Group
- Village Roadshow Theme Parks
- Village Roadshow Studios
- ↑ Tourtellotte, Bob (7 February 2008). "Village Roadshow, Concord Music complete merger", Reuters (Los Angeles), Thomson Reuters.
- ↑ Billboard "Concord Music Group to be Sold to Wood Creek Capital Management", Billboard.com, 25 March 2013