The Palace Amusement Company (1921) Limited was formed by Audley Morais, and operated as a Private Company prior to 1921 (silent movie days). He re-formed the company and offered shares to the public in 1921.
Over the years the Company operated Movies, Rose Gardens, and Palace Cinemas. Gaiety and Majestic was subsequently acquired, Odeon (Mandeville) was leased, and other cinemas ( urban and rural) were built. It operated cinemas and distributed films to many of the independent cinemas that existed in Jamaica and Cayman.
In 1938, Cinema Company of Jamaica Limited built the Carib, in competition to Palace.
In 1947, J. Arthur Rank, from the United Kingdom, bought control in Palace Amusement Company. The Rank Organisation bought out Cinema Company of Jamaica Ltd. owner of the Carib. J. Arthur Rank closed the Movies and built Odeon in Mandeville in 1951, and Odeon in Half Way Tree in 1952.
In l949, Russell Graham built the Tropical Cinema Company, and used it as a centerpiece of the competition that he mounted for the movie audience against Palace.
In 1962, Russgram Investments Limited - a Company owned by Russell Graham - bought the controlling interest in Palace Amusement Company from J. Arthur Rank, and Douglas Graham was appointed Managing Director. The new regime purchased the Majestic Cinema on Spanish Town Road, built the Harbour View Drive In as a partly owned subsidiary, and took control of Tropical Cinema Company, which was a 2-cinema company - Tropical and Rialto.
In 1989, Russell Graham sold his Russgram Investments Company to Douglas Graham, who still has ownership of it.
Palace Amusement Company is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange and has approximately 150 shareholders. There are l,437,028 issued stock units. Russgram Investments Limited presently owns 62.05% of the shares in Palace Amusement Company.
Since 1989 we have fought against the contraction of the circuit by expanding into Cineplex in Liguanea; Island in New Kingston; Portmore Palace in Portmore; Palace Multiplex in MontegoBay, Odeon Cineplex in Mandville, while we closed Gaiety, Odeon Mandeville, and Odeon Half Way Tree.
In Film Distribution, the Company also services cinemas in Grand Cayman, and represents United International Pictures, which is the source of motion picture product from the studiosof Paramount, Universal, DreamWorks and Disney. Russgram Investments Limited is also in the film distribution business, and represents Warner Bros., Sony, and 20th Century Fox.
The Carib was demolished by fire in 1996 and Palace Amusement Company rebuilt it as 5 screens.
Palace Amusement Company is managed by Douglas Graham, Executive Chairman; Scott Graham, Assistant General Manager; Carol Lee, Financial Controller; Melanie Graham, Marketing Manager; David Chong, Chief Engineer; Steven Cooke, Concessions Manager, and Eileen Thomas, Company Secretary.