Movie entrepreneur Roc Kirby dies

The founder of ASX-listed entertainment conglomerate Village Roadshow died on 25 January, aged 89.

Kirby, whose personal and family’s wealth was estimated by BRW at $325 million last year, founded Village Roadshow as a single drive-in cinema in Croydon, Victoria in 1954, and built it into an entertainment empire that produces films, distributes them, owns cinemas and theme parks on the Gold Coast.

Village Roadshow, which is now run by Roc’s sons Robert and John, and long time employee Graham Burke, had a rough patch for a few years without a cinematic hit, but more recently the company has performed better.

In 2006-07, Village Roadshow posted a turnaround in net profit of $45.08 million, from a $40.7 million loss the previous year, as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to $224.8 million.

As of this morning, the company had a market capitalisation of $392 million.

The recent floods in Queensland are likely to be presenting a few problems with the successful theme park business on the Gold Coast. Bad weather will keep the tourists away.

Village Roadshow’s most successful recent film productions include George Miller’s penguin movie Happy Feet and I am Legend starring Will Smith.


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