Our company history

In 1926 George Watson acquired the Grand Arcade and Tower Cinema in Leeds, one of the first cinemas in Leeds. This acquisition was followed shortly afterwards with the acquisition of the Carlton Cinema and the Pavilion Cinema in Leeds.

Associated Tower Cinemas Ltd. was incorporated in 1932. The original shareholders were George Watson and Walter Ellis, two prominent Leeds businessmen.

The Capitol Ballroom in Meanwood was acquired in 1934, the Cottage Road Cinema in 1938, the Crescent, the Palladium and Opera House in 1944, and the Astoria Ballroom in 1957.

Iain Ure, grandson of George Watson, was appointed Managing Director in 1968.

The Lounge Cinema was acquired in 1970 and an entertainments company was formed in partnership with Jim Marley.

Tower Entertainments Group Ltd. and Hilton Marley Hotels Ltd. were acquired in 1976 and for a short period of time were very successful operating hotels, banqueting halls and pubs.

Associated Tower Cinemas sold out of this operation to focus on the four cinemas and Iain Ure took the company in a new direction with property investment and development.

A number of modest acquisitions were carried out in the late 1970's and early 1980's in areas such as Morley, Batley, Bradford, Otley and Ripon.

Each year the company would acquire, develop and renovate new commercial acquisitions steadily building up a portfolio of investment properties.

In 1989, Iain Ure´s son, Chris was invited onto the Board of Directors as Financial Director following a number of years in London where he had qualified as a chartered accountant.

During the 1990's the company continued to expand the property portfolio. The geographical spread of the company increased and the company made important acquisitions in industrial and residential properties as well as building on the retail and office portfolio.

Chris Ure was appointed Managing Director in 1993 and Iain Ure took over the role as Chairman.

In 1996 David Barrass, a Chartered Surveyor, joined the company as Property Surveyor and was invited onto the Board of Directors in 1998 as Property Director.

In recent years the company has continued to steadily develop its property portfolio, acquiring investment properties and development sites.

The company´s link with operating cinemas ended in 2005 and, as a result, the company changed its name from Associated Tower Cinemas Limited to ATC Properties Limited, more accurately reflecting the nature of the business.

Following the retirement of Iain Ure in 2006, Chris Ure took over the role of Chairman and David Barrass was appointed Managing Director.

Find out more about our most recent developments.