The Great Escape Theaters in Moline have a new owner.
On Thursday, Tennessee-basedRegal Entertainment Group -- the nation's leading motion picture exhibitor -- announced it has completed the acquisition of Great Escape Theatres, including the 14-screen multiplex at 4100 38th St., Moline.
Regal acquired a total of 25 theaters, representing 301 screens, for $91 million in cash. The acquisition will enhance Regal's presence in Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia, according to a company release.
"The acquisition of Great Escape Theatres and the special dividend of $1 per share clearly demonstrate Regal's commitment to delivering shareholder value," Amy Miles, Regal's CEO, said in the release. "We are extremely pleased with the addition of over 300 high quality screens to our industry-leading portfolio and expect the transaction to be immediately accretive to both earnings and cash flow."
Regal owns the largest and most geographically diverse theater chain in the United States. As of Oct. 25, it had 6,607 screens in 521 theaters in 37 states and the District of Columbia. More information is online at REGmovies.com.
The sale marks the second ownership change for Quad-Cities movie theaters this month.
About two weeks ago, Cinemark USA Inc. -- a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cinemark Holdings Inc. and the third-largest theater chain -- announced it is acquiring all of the assets of Rave Cinemas for approximately $240 million. The group includes 483 screens at 32 theaters in 12 states, including an 18-screen cineplex in Davenport.
Today is Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river. 1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.