Planet Hollywood is a movie-themed restaurant chain, taking as its inspiration the popular portrayal of Hollywood and including numerous movie costumes, props, photographs, film posters, and other movie celebrity memorabilia. It was first launched in New York City in October 1991 with the initial backing of several Hollywood stars, including Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Further celebrity endorsements followed, including Whoopi Goldberg, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Don Johnson, Melanie Griffith, Tom Arnold, Wesley Snipes, Danny Glover, John Hughes, and Roseanne Barr. These recruits were paid by company owner Robert Earl through an employee stock ownership plan.
In 1987, Earl had acquired control of the Hard Rock Cafe music-themed restaurant chain from co-founder Isaac Tigrett. While expanding it over the next two years, Earl met entrepreneur Bryan Kestner, with whom he had a shared interest in music, movies, and sports. Together, they opened the first Planet Hollywood, followed by an aggressive expansion plan which ensued until 1994. And due to the restaurant chain’s initial success, the company also turned its attention to developing more themed-restaurant concepts, such as the Official All Star Café, a sports version of Planet Hollywood.
In April 1996, Planet Hollywood went public on the New York Stock Exchange at $18 a share, peaking at $32 on the first day of trading. However, by 1999 it was down to less than $1 a share. Ultimately, as a result of multiple factors, including rapid expansion, thinning resources, mediocre food, and competition from other themed- or celebrity-owned restaurants, the company declared bankruptcy in October 1999. As a result, the company was forced to relist on the NASDAQ in May 2000. However, due to an economic slowdown following the September 11 attacks, it filed for bankruptcy again in October 2001.
Here is a timeline of Planet Hollywood’s other (mostly-failed) ventures:
- 12/95 – The 1st Official All Star Café opens in Times Square, New York City
- 01/98 – The 1st Marvel Mania opens near Universal Studios Hollywood, California
- 07/98 – The 1st Sound Republic, a joint-venture with MTV, opens in London, England
- 08/98 – The 1st Cool Planet Cafe opens in Santa Monica, California
- 07/99 – The 1st Planet Movies by AMC opens in Manchester, England
The current remaining Planet Hollywood locations with merchandise stores include:
- The Forum Shops at Caesars; Las Vegas, NV (Jul 1994)
- Walt Disney World; Orlando, FL (Oct 1994) (pictured above)
- Disneyland Paris; Marne-la-Vallée, France (Jul 1996)
- Times Square; NYC, NY (Relocated Nov 2000)
- Haymarket; London, England (Jun 2009)
- LAX Airport, Los Angeles, CA (Nov 2016)
- Bay Street Entertainment Complex; St. Julian’s, Malta (Jun 2019)
In September 2008, Planet Hollywood acquired the Buca di Beppo restaurant chain, and in July 2010, Robert Earl hired the Wyndham Hotel Group to develop franchises for its Planet Hollywood Resorts. Currently, these include:
- Planet Hollywood Resort – Utorda Beach, Goa, India (Oct 2014)
- Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino – Las Vegas Strip, Nevada (Apr 2007)
- Planet Hollywood Beach Resort – Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica (Oct 2018)
- Planet Hollywood Resort – Cancun, Mexico (Oct 2018)
- Planet Hollywood Resort – St. Maarten (to be opened in Summer 2022)
- Visited: Hong Kong (1997); Mall of America, Bloomington, MN (above, 1994; closed in 2003)