EXCLUSIVE: This is all very early, but industry sources are telling us that Cineworld COO Matt Eyre is moving across the pond to oversee U.S. operations following the theater chain’s $3.6B takeover of Regal Entertainment Group. Eyre would remain Group COO and have oversight of some 7,3K-plus screens and 564 theaters. In total, with Regal, Cineworld is the world’s second-largest cinema group after AMC, operating in 10 countries with 9,5K-plus screens across the U.S. and Europe.
Eyre has 30 years’ experience in the cinema industry and at one point served two years as the Co-Chief Executive Officer at Mann Theaters in Los Angeles before joining Cineworld in 2005 to become SVP in charge of operations. He began his career with UCI then served for 17 years at Warner Bros International Cinemas as General Manager, Regional Manager, Director of Operations and finally Vice President of Operations for 10 territories.
We’ve also been hearing that in regards to the Regal-Cineworld transition the latter’s Chief Commercial Officer Renana Teperberg has been heavily involved with frequent trips to Regal’s HQ in Knoxville, Tenn. She is known internally at Cineworld as Chief Executive Moshe “Mooky” Greidinger’s right hand person, however, from what we’ve heard, she is not expected to move over to the States to oversee its operation. The Greidinger family who has a controlling stake in Cineworld is based in Haifa, Israel and is known in distribution-exhibition circles as a very hand-on run company.
Many Regal locations Stateside are in need of a serious makeover, and many distribution execs at the major studios are buzzing that Cineworld is committed to raising the bar at several locations. Essentially, Regal was able to be profitable and made itself attractive for takeover because it didn’t burden itself with debt from widespread chain remodeling.
Calls to Regal and Cineworld were not returned.