Cineworld has bought rival cinema chain Picturehouse for £47.3 million.
Picturehouse is the UK’s leading independent cinema operator with 21 sites (60 screens), including the Duke of York's in Preston Circus, Brighton and The Duke’s at Komedia in Gardner Street, which opens today.
The all-cash deal sees Cineworld add Picturehouse's 21 cinemas to its current 80 sites across the UK.
Stephen Wiener, chief executive of Cineworld said: "This acquisition gives us an opportunity to accelerate our growth by reaching new audiences in a high value and growing part of the market."
To help fund the deal, Cineworld is to raise £16m through a share flotation.
Picturehouse focuses on showing independent and foreign movies.
Its managing director Lyn Goleby said: "The unique character of Picturehouse cinemas will remain, and our team will continue to bring the widest range of film to customers."