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TMCNet:  Quays heralds the closing credits for Cineworld boss [Edition 3] [Gloucestershire Echo (England)]

[December 07, 2013]

Quays heralds the closing credits for Cineworld boss [Edition 3] [Gloucestershire Echo (England)]

(Gloucestershire Echo (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) FOR the final time in a long and hugely prosperous career, Steve Wiener brought up the curtain on a new cinema.

The credits will roll for Cineworld's founder and chief executive officer Steve Wiener when he steps down as boss in a month.

With its six 3D auditoriums and four other screens, the new Gloucester Quays cinema replaces the Peel Centre Cineworld.

It opened to the public for the first time last night.

A decision to invest in the Quays was no gamble according to Mr Wiener, 61, who has seen Cineworld become the largest UK cinema chain.

He has come a long way from his student days as an usher. He founded the company with his wife Jenny in 1995.

Since then they have accumulated a 100-strong estate of mainly multiplex cinemas.

Before a screening of Disney's Frozen for invited guests on Thursday night, he paid a special tribute to Jenny, inviting her on to the stage as part of an emotional speech.

"Gloucester is the 82nd cinema we have opened in the UK," he said. "We were supposed to build five and then sell up and retire to Florida. It didn't quite work out that way and we have now built somewhere between 50 and 60.

"Someone said to me I should meet Peel Developments so I went to Manchester and the deal happened.

"We have history in Gloucester with 70 per cent of our staff moving with us from the old cinema, the other 30 per cent are new jobs." After 44 years in the business, Mr Wiener is quick to see the huge potential of investing in Gloucester. A 25-year lease has been signed, an indication of the long-term success he is banking on.

He added: "I make all the decisions on where we should build new cinemas. I have people who get information I request but, ultimately, I sit down at 2am or 3am when there are no interruptions to try and forecast what admissions will be.

"We have a full demographic package for every site we look at before we push the button. It is a 25-year lease so a wrong decision can lose a lot of money. We can't afford to make any mistakes.

"The cinema won't compete with Cheltenham. This deal was done three or four years ago. We know what the potential is for Gloucester." WIN CINEWORLD TICKETS PAGE 12 WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW CINEMA? Write your reviews online at news WHAT OUR REPORTER TOM GIBBON THOUGHT OF THE NEW CINEMA GLML20131205F-026_C IT'S a mightily impressive facility, one which will do Gloucester proud for at least a generation.

Everything is finished to a stunning standard, from the open entrance up to the higher-level ticket and food counters and, of course, the state-of-the-art screens.

There's so much room in there. You can stretch out and relax without someone's knees in your back and there's no such thing as a bad seat - every centimetre of the auditorium has a completely clear view. The visuals and sound are superb too. I'll certainly be a regular visitor.

(c) 2013 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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