Pedestrian Group acquires American Express Openair Cinemas

Youth publishing group Pedestrian is building on its events arm with the acquisition of American Express Openair Cinemas, formerly owned by Fairfax Events.

Pedestrian is part of Nine, which acquired Fairfax in a landmark deal last year. Nine, however, has since sold off some of the key event properties of Fairfax, including the City2Surf.

The cinema operates in 10 locations around Australia and New Zealand over spring and summer and will continue to operate independently within the existing company structure, but now with support from Pedestrian’s partnerships and studio teams.

The team will move into the Pedestrian Group offices in Surry Hills, effective immediately, led by head of Openair Cinemas events John Amrhein.

Openair Cinema is the first acquisition for the group since its merger with Allure Media in December 2018, which brought the Australian editions of Business Insider, Popsugar, Gizmodo, Kotaku and Lifehacker under the Pedestrian umbrella.

Pedestrian Group CEO Matt Rowley said the American Express Openair Cinemas’ integration made perfect sense as the next step in the publisher’s growth story.

“American Express Openair Cinemas is the perfect fit for the Pedestrian Group, where we’re all about unbridled creativity. From bringing our brands and our clients’ brands to life via the big screen, to innovative pop-up activations and fully themed festivals in multiple cities, the possibilities are insane,” said Rowley.

Amrhein said: “With its impressive portfolio of youth-focused properties and a core demographic that mirrors our own, there’s no better home for American Express Openair Cinemas than Pedestrian Group. Our events are all about bringing people (and, sometimes, their pets) together for an experience like no other and the sites do that in their own way, too. We can’t wait to work with the wider team.”


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