Assets Sold To Local Exhibs SBC and Lusomundo
Warner Bros. Exits UK
And Portugal Markets
LONDON – Warner Bros. International
Theatres is easing itself out of the United Kingdom
Warner Village Cinemas U.K. announced March 14 that
it is in negotiations to sell its British circuit to
London-based SBC International.
Warner Village, a joint venture between
Warner Bros. and Australian exhibitor Village Roadshow,
in the 1990s.
SBC would acquire 354 screens at 36
Warner Village sites, not including six sites in the
that are operated exclusively by Village Roadshow.
SBC currently operates 60 screens at six sites
in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Taiwan. The
circuit is slated to unveil at least four more
sites by the end of the year (In
Focus, December 2002).
Warner Bros. announced April 9 that
it is selling its 50-percent stake in its Portuguese
The circuit, which accounts for nearly
40 percent of the Portuguese box office, consists of
screens at 13 sites. The circuit was sold for
The newly acquired sites will continue
to trade under the Warner Lusomundo brand with Warner
a hand in the design of future builds. Warner
Bros. will retain a financial benefit from
according to Variety.
According to the same periodical, Warner
Bros. will invest its profits in developing
where the circuit is currently partnering
to build a multi
Circuit Slates 50
Multiplex In India
GURGAON, India – Delhi, India-based exhibitor
PVR was slated to unveil in April the nation’s
largest multi in Gurgaon, a suburb of Delhi.
Established seven years
ago as a joint venture with Australia’s
Village Roadshow and Delhi-based Priya
Exhibitors, PVR currently operates four
Last year, Village Roadshow exited from the Indian
The circuit also announced
plans to construct 50 additional sites
in India, including a 10-plex in Mumbai
was slated to open later this year.
The expansions follow on
the heels of institutional financer ICICI
Venture’s decision to invest $8
million in PVR “in exchange for a ‘substantial’ stake
in the company,” according to The
12 Golden Screens
GSC Marks Malaysian
Island For 16th Plex
PENANG, Malaysia – Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC)
announced in March that it was slated to open a 12-plex
on the northern Malaysian island of Penang later this
Like its flagship 18-plex in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia – Asia’s
largest multi – the new 1,856-seat plex will
feature special screening rooms for showing festival
films and foreign language titles.
GSC currently operates 74 screens
at 15 sites.
Year End Bow
MARIBOR, Slovenia – Slovenia’s third multiplex
is slated to bow in the northeastern city of Maribor
by years end.
The build, overseen by multiplex
developer Kolosej Kinematografi, follows the successes
of Slovenia sites
in the the capital city of Ljubljana, and the coastal
metropolis of Koper.
Kolosej chairman Goran Kodelja indicated
the developer plans to eventually outfit the entire
New Exhib Offers Advance
Tickets As Low
As 35 Cents
MILTON KEYNES, England – London-based
easyGroup on April 4 announced plans to take its budget
business concept to exhibition.
The company, which also runs budget
services such as easyJet, easyCar and easyInternetcafe,
a “no-frills,” low budget business concept,
offering customers significantly reduced prices as
a result of reduced operation costs.
The company, under the baton of Greek
entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou, has taken over the
lease of its
first cinema, the former UCI 10-plex in the center
of the English Midland town of Milton Keynes, and
was set to reopen its doors by the end of May.
The earlier a moviegoer buys an easyCinema
ticket, the less that ticket will cost. Some are expected
to sell for as little as 20 pence, or about 35
if purchased a few weeks before the desired showtime.
At least part of the savings comes from
automating key functions. The site will not utilize
box office; instead, a computer is available
for customers who wish to buy tickets on site. All
will sport a barcode which patrons will scan
at the turnstyles for automated entry.
The company announced that after kicking
off its pioneer Midland site, it plans to expand
in the United
Kingdom and Europe.
Pizza Hut Veteran
New CEO For
TORONTO – Famous Players announced March 11 that Robb Chase has been named
the new president and CEO of Canada’s largest circuit.
Chase, who joined the circuit as president
and chief operating officer in 2000, replaces John
Bailey – a 30-year exhibition vet whose tenure
with the chain stretches back to 1992.
Before joining the circuit, Chase served
as vice president of marketing for Pizza Hut International
and president of Pizza Hut Canada.
As CEO, Chase will be responsible for
overseeing all aspects of the company and will report
to Viacom Entertainment Group executive vice president
“Robb’s past three years with Famous Players has had an enormous
impact on the company,” noted McGrath. “He will continue to make
a significant contribution to the Viacom family.”
Famous Players currently operates 846
screens at 93 locations.
Cinema Stops Bids
Oslo City Circuit
OSLO, Norway – Norway’s Oslo city council has decided not to privatize
its Oslo Municipal Cinemas, ending in mid-April negotiations with outside bidders.
The council began negotiations late
January with leading exhibitors interested in buying
more than half of its assets (In
Focus, April, 2003).
Variety, three bidders were allegedly turned down.
The city’s circuit accounts for over 25 percent of the nation’s