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UGC is the second largest cinema operator in Europe with, as of August 2013, 45 sites and 488 screens across four countries.

Union générale cinématographique (UGC)
Société anonyme
(with board of directors)
Founded1971; 48 years ago (1971)
Area served
France, Spain, Belgium, Italy
Key people
Guy Verrecchia (President)
Alain Sussfeld (CEO)
Number of employees


Continental EuropeEdit

UGC was originally an exclusively French operator, created in 1971 from a merger of several regional cinema companies. The name originally stood for Union Générale Cinématographique, but today only the initials are used. The company is focused on the business side of the film business and French-dubbed versions, showing little interest in the screening of artistic cinema, on the contrary to Pathé and Gaumont cinemas, except in some UGC Paris theatres where the programming is very diversified and includes both subtitled and dubbed versions. Out of Paris, in some cities like Nantes or Lyon, a part of this diversified programming does exist, but mostly UGC cinemas are like Pathé and Gaumont cinemas. Its competitors include EuroPalaces, Cinéville, CGR, MK2 and Kinepolis Group.

As of August 2013, UGC had:

  • France: 36 cinemas, 357 screens
  • Spain: 5 cinemas, 88 screens
  • Belgium: 3 cinemas, 43 screens

In 2002 the company sold 64 million tickets.

UGC UK and IrelandEdit

UGC was formerly also a leading UK cinema owner following the purchase of Richard Branson's Virgin Cinema Group, which it purchased in October 1999. In December 2004, the business was sold to Blackstone Group and joined with Cine-UK to trade as Cineworld. UGC's chain in the UK and Ireland consisted of:

  • UK: 41 cinemas, 391 screens
  • Ireland: 1 cinema, 17 screens

In July 2005, Cineworld began to phase out the UGC brand, replacing it with its own Cineworld logo. This rebranding was completed in September 2005. Cineworld has retained certain aspects of the UGC offer, including the Unlimited season ticket, originally introduced by Virgin, and the free magazine of the same name.

See alsoEdit


  • Bawden, Tom (October 1, 2004). "UGC unveils £400m price tag". The Times (London). Retrieved 20 December 2009.

External linksEdit