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Tuesday, 18 July, 2000, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
Planet Hollywood's online revamp
Bruce Willis
Willis announced a range of new online services for movie fans
Actor Bruce Willis has relaunched the website of his troubled global restaurant chain Planet Hollywood.

The Sixth Sense star is one of the original investors in the themed chain which sells Hollywood memorabilia.

He announced the new-look site would be adding to its existing restaurant information to offer footage of celebrity events, film trailers and deliver the latest celebrity gossip.

Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone also invested in the chain

Visitors will also be able to bid for movie memorabilia online.

Willis and his partners hope the move into e-commerce will mark the beginning of a brighter future for their business. It filed for bankruptcy protection last year and closed nine of its 32 US outlets.

Planet Hollywood was founded in 1991 by Robert Earl and Keith Barish.

Willis was one of a number of stars who added their names - and investment - to the chain, including his then-wife Demi Moore, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The celebrity backing succeeded in making the restaurants a popular choice for fans hoping to buy into a bit of Hollywood glamour.

Bad times

However, things first began to go awry when Mr Barish sold nearly half his stock and resigned his board position at the start of 1999.

He was followed by company president William Baumhauer who resigned three months later.

Shaquille O'Neal
O'Neal has recently added his backing

Planet Hollywood also suffered last year when its restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, was bombed. One diner was killed and 27 others injured.

But the bankruptcy protection filing dealt the severest blow to its status.

Despite the setbacks Planet Hollywood, as a concept, has proved a big hit.

It has spawned a number of imitators, with celebrities from the worlds of fashion and sport.

Now, the business is hoping for brighter times.

In June, basketball star Shaquille O'Neal became the latest celebrity shareholder to add his faith, and weight, to the restaurant chain.

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18 Aug 99 | The Company File
Rocky times for Planet Hollywood
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