KERRIDGE, Sir Robert James
A new biography of Kerridge, Robert James appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.
Robert James Kerridge was born at Banks Peninsula on 29 October 1901. He entered commercial life by joining the Booth McDonald Co. in Christchurch and then moved to Gisborne in 1918 where he opened the Kerridge Commercial College. For a time he managed a motor transport company on the East Coast, but in 1927 he acquired a controlling interest in Gisborne Theatres Ltd. and in 1943 New Zealand Theatres Ltd. (Kemball interests). Two years later he acquired the Fuller interests, followed in 1947 by those of J. C. Williamson, thus giving him in all a circuit of 130 theatres. In addition he controls today a number of smaller merchandising concerns in conjunction with his theatre circuit. Since 1946 Kerridge has been associated with the J. Arthur Rank Organisation. He was knighted in 1962.