Sundance Group Announces Cinema Intention
PROVO, UT — This just crossed BusinessWire — The Sundance Group has just announced new plans for an art house circuit:
“The Utah-based Sundance Group announced today that it is going forward with long held plans for a Sundance Cinemas movie theatre circuit. The new venture brings together Robert Redford’s Sundance brand, a recognized name in independent film, with the seasoned specialized theatre management team of Paul Richardson and Bert Manzari. Investment funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management are financing the new company.
Richardson will serve as President and CEO, with Manzari taking the reins as President of Film and Marketing. The Cinemas will strive to incorporate the best in independent, documentary, and foreign language film, as well as quality studio films, and original programming, which will include shorts, filmmaker interviews, forums, and other value added features.
“Anything which helps new and interesting voices in the cultural realm reach more people can only enrich the experience of artists, audiences and communities and this makes the effort worth it,” said Robert Redford.
The management team of Richardson and Manzari has been working together since they started a specialized exhibition circuit with one theatre in 1975. Their circuit merged with Landmark Theatres in 1982 and grew to become the largest specialized “art” theatre circuit in the country. Landmark has been through different ownership over the years with Richardson and Manzari exiting the company after the last change of ownership in 2004.
According to Richardson, “We are actively looking for appropriate locations throughout the country which provide opportunities for Sundance Cinemas to integrate into the existing cultural fabric of communities.” Manzari added, “Drawing on our collective long-term relationships in the independent film and festival communities as well as those in the realm of distribution, we feel Sundance Cinemas will be highly successful in crafting a new and different experience for audiences.”
The Sundance Group
Established in 1988, the Sundance Group is a business entity wholly owned by Robert Redford. The Sundance Group oversees Redford’s ownership interests in Sundance Village, Sundance Catalog, Sundance Channel, as well as his involvement in the not-for-profit Sundance Institute, Sundance Film Festival and North Fork Preservation Alliance. In addition, the Sundance Group is responsible for evaluating and launching new business opportunities for Redford and the Sundance brand.
Oaktree Capital Management
Oaktree Capital Management, LLC is a private investment management firm headquartered in Los Angeles with approximately $27 billion of assets. Investment funds managed by Oaktree have had substantial experience investing in both theatrical film exhibition and commercial real estate. In recent years, Oaktree-managed funds have owned significant positions in both “art” (Landmark Theatres) and “first run” circuits (Loews Cineplex and Regal Theatres)."