UGC Cinemas UK has sold its ten-screen Belfast site for a reported £5.5m to Michael McAdam's Movie House Cinemas. Movie House already operate three sites in Northern Ireland - in Belfast (Yorkgate), Glengormley and Maghera.
The cinema will be rebranded Movie House, Dublin Road and an improvement scheme is being implemented. "This is an ideal move for us," said Movie House MD McAdam. "Dublin Road is a great location and we would hope that we can offer movie-goers even better value for money on top of a great cinema experience."
The deal, which closed in the days before Christmas, followed on discussions between McAdam and Margaret Taylor, UGC Cinemas MD, which began at last year's CineExpo.
Speaking to ScreenDaily.com Taylor said the cinema was not on the market at the time but that the offer made sense given the age of the site and the company's commitments in the UK. "For instance, we've just put in for planning for our Ealing site in London. It's three screens at the moment and we want to develop 17 screens on the same site," she said.
According to Taylor UGC's revamped Dublin site has doubled the level of admissions in its first month of operation. "It's been a phenomenal first month, and this week it's our number one site in the UK and Ireland, ahead of our sites in Glasgow and the one in Sheffield which has 20 screens," she said. "It is now on target to reach 2m admissions in its first year."