About the UK cinema sector

Circuits, multiplexes and smaller sites

Circuits, multiplexes and smaller sites2016-11-24T13:03:40+00:00

The UK cinema sector is made up of a wide range of companies operating multiplex and/or smaller cinema sites. (In general a multiplex is considered to be any cinema with five screens or more, though some of the largest multiplex sites have as many as 12 or 16 screens).

The UK sector is made up of a small number of larger circuit companies, who own and operate a large number of sites across the country, as well as smaller operators who may have a handful of sites, or sometimes just one. The three largest cinema circuit companies account for around 70 per cent of total UK screens, and the six largest such companies are collectively responsible for about 85 per cent of the sector.

Although their basic business model is broadly similar, individual cinema companies operate very differently depending on how many sites they own.

One of the largest cinema circuit companies might typically have dozens of sites accounting for over 750 screens, and might employ several thousand staff, with the vast majority of these to be found working at individual cinemas.

These companies might have separate departments dealing with film booking, customer services, retail services, operations, marketing and HR for example.

In contrast, a smaller operator with just one site may have just one manager who deals with all of the above, as well as maybe a general site manager and a dozen or so box office/concessions staff.