Village Roadshow commenced operating in 1954, owning and managing one of the first drive-in cinemas in Australia in the Melbourne suburb of Croydon. From these modest beginnings, the Company gradually expanded its drive-in cinema circuit with the addition of more traditional or "hardtop" cinemas in major population centres. Village Roadshow entered the vertically related businesses of film distribution in the 1960's and film production in the 1970's.
In the eighties Village Roadshow was a pioneer in the development of state of the art multiplex cinema complexes. The Group's developments raised cinema exhibition standards to new levels with stadium seating, the latest sound systems and advanced projection technologies. These cinemas were the forerunners to the high quality multiplexes that operate in Village Roadshow's cinemas today.
In the late eighties Village Roadshow's growth strategy required greater access to capital. This was achieved through a "back door" stock market listing and additional capital raising through the takeover of De Laurentis Entertainment Limited in 1988, which then changed its name to Village Roadshow Limited, still retaining a major shareholding of the Kirby and Burke families' holding company, Village Roadshow Corporation.
In the nineties, Village Roadshow further diversified into complementary entertainment businesses. This included the purchase and development of theme parks: initially Wet'n'Wild (originally Cades County) in 1989, then building Warner Bros. Movie World which opened in 1992, the acquisition of Sea World and Sea World Resort & Water Park (originally Sea World Nara Resort) followed later in 1992 and opening Australian Outback Spectacular in 2006. Most recently, Village Roadshow opened Topgolf at the Gold Coast in 2018.
Also in the nineties Village Roadshow expanded its Cinema Exhibition business internationally, operating cinemas in up to 20 countries. Today, the Cinema Exhibition business has returned to its roots, and operates solely in Australia. Village Roadshow also purchased the Triple M radio network in 1993 and subsequently integrated it to create the Austereo Group. This was a separately listed company on the ASX in which Village Roadshow had a majority shareholding until March 2011.
Village Roadshow also owns 20% of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, a Los Angeles based entertainment business which includes the Village Roadshow Pictures film production business, and included from February 2008 to March 2013, the Concord Music Group.
In 2012, Village Roadshow acquired Edge Loyalty, re-branded Edge. The addition of UK based Opia in 2015 formed the Marketing Solutions division, focussing on digital platforms and rewards. Edge was sold in 2019.
Village Roadshow also operates Wet'n'Wild Las Vegas and Wet'n'Wild Haikou. Village Roadshow also operates the multi-level Lionsgate Entertainment World theme park at Novotown on Hengqin Island as part of its Asian theme park initiatives.