National Amusements
National Amusements
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National Amusements

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Description

National Amusements, Inc. is an American privately owned movie theater operator and mass media holding company incorporated in Maryland and based in Norwood, Massachusetts.

The company owns more than 1,500 cinema theaters throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, and Latin America under several brands, such as Showcase Cinemas, Multiplex Cinemas, and Cinema de Lux. It is the controlling shareholder of Paramount Global.

History

The company was founded by Michael Redstone in 1936 in the Boston suburb of Dedham as Northeast Theater Corporation, operating a chain of movie theaters in the region. In 1959, when the founder's son Sumner Redstone joined the company, it was renamed National Amusements.

On June 10, 1987, the company became the majority owner of the original incarnation of Viacom, a former CBS subsidiary syndicating television programs to stations around the United States. Since the buyout, Viacom continued to expand through purchases from the early 1990s to the early 2000s, announcing plans to merge with Paramount Communications (formerly Gulf+Western), parent of Paramount Pictures, in 1993 (which closed in 1994), buying the Blockbuster Video chain in 1994, merging with the original CBS Corporation in 2000, and acquiring BET Holdings (which became BET Networks) in 2001.

In March 2005, due to Viacom's declining stock price, National Amusements announced that it would split its media subsidiary into two companies that would remain under its control, which was completed on December 31. The original Viacom became the second CBS Corporation as it kept CBS, Simon & Schuster,[8] and Paramount Network Television (now CBS Studios), among other assets, while MTV Networks, BET Networks, and Paramount Pictures were spun-off to a sister company under the Viacom name. The second iterations of Viacom and CBS Corporation commenced trading on January 3, 2006.

At the end of 2008, due to financial troubles, owners Sumner Redstone and Shari Redstone sold $400 million of nonvoting shares in National Amusements. In October 2009, the company sold almost $1 billion of its interest in the stock of CBS and Viacom and sold 35 theaters to Rave Motion Pictures. Today these theatres are owned by Cinemark, AMC, Alamo, or have closed. National Amusements now almost exclusively operates theaters in the Northeastern United States (with the exception of one location in Ohio). The following year, National Amusements planned to sell $390 million of notes to refinance a large part of the company's bank owed debt.

In 2019, it was announced that the multinational media conglomerates controlled by National Amusements — Viacom and CBS Corporation — would re-merge to form a new company named ViacomCBS. Viacom and CBS announced that the merger would close on December 4; following the official close, the company began trading on NASDAQ the following day. In 2022, the company was renamed Paramount Global.

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