EXCLUSIVE: EVO Entertainment Group will begin operating as Elevate Entertainment Group, the company said Monday. Simultaneously, EEG has acquired Austin-based arthouse chain Violet Crown Cinemas.
Elevate Entertainment Group currently operates 15 cinema entertainment centers across the U.S. with an additional four in the pipeline.
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Violet Crown Cinemas is known for their plush big screen, bar and cafe experience and counts four venues in Austin and Dallas, Charlottesville, VA, and Santa Fe, NM. The acquisition adds a total of 30 screens to the group’s 172 already in operation. Violet Crown Cinemas will continue to operate under its brand name. The acquisition plans to close in December.
Bill Banowsky, founder and CEO of Violet Crown Cinemas, reflected on this new chapter, stating, “Our journey with Violet Crown has been extraordinary. We’ve cultivated a unique moviegoing experience that caters to film lovers, and that remains unchanged. I am confident that this acquisition will continue to bring the best film experience to the community, and am grateful that we found a team with the resources, passion, and vision to take Violet Crown to the next level.”
Banowsky will remain a part of Violet Crown Cinemas as an equity partner. He started his cinema journey in 2001, when he founded Magnolia Pictures, a film exhibition and distribution company, which he later sold in 2003. He went on to serve as the CEO of Landmark Theatres from 2003-2007. Banowsky then founded Carolina Cinemas in 2008, and started Violet Crown Cinemas in 2010.
Mitch Roberts, founder and CEO of EEG, is a fourth-generation cinema operator who has grown the company since 2014 to the fastest-growing cinema entertainment center organization stateside.
“Today’s news marks a significant milestone in the pursuit of our long-term vision for the future of cinema and entertainment,” Robert sad. “As an Austin local, Violet Crown is a brand close to my heart and I am honored to be trusted with the task of preserving and expanding their legacy.”
Austin-based Elevate Entertainment Group’s portfolio of brands includes EVO Cinemas, EVO Entertainment, Elevate Rewards, ShowBiz Cinemas, Times Square Grand Slam and Violet Crown Cinemas. In addition to refined food and beverages, the organization offers a slate of activities including movies, bowling and games, and attractions like climbing walls, virtual reality, ropes courses and bumper cars.
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