Major Moves Into
WB Gets Approval
For China 9-Plex
SHANGHAI, China – Warner Bros. International Theatres held a gala July
12 launch for its Paradise Warner Cinema City 9-plex in Shanghai, China, having
received final approval from the Chinese government.
A joint venture with Shanghai Paradise
Co. Ltd. and Broadband Investment Ltd. of Hong Kong,
the 1,490-seat multi marks the first entry into the
by a major U.S. exhibitor. The site features the company’s WB logo,
such internationally recognized icons as the Looney Tunes cartoon characters,
a large mural depicting Chinese and American screen legends.
Situated in the Xujiahui district on
the top floor of one of Shanghai’s
largest shopping malls, the Grand Gateway, the facility offers both local and
imported films and features state-of-the art equipment and technology.
“Paradise Warner Cinema City is
a historic step toward bringing world-class quality
films to Chinese audiences and to realizing the untold
potential of the
Chinese marketplace,” said Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Barry Meyer.
Although Shanghai represents only one
percent of the nation’s population,
it accounts for 18 percent of its total box office.
Warner Bros. International Theatres
currently operates more that 1,000 screens at over
100 sites throughout Italy, Japan, Spain, Taiwan and
7-Plex Branded ‘Red’ in
VR United With
SALFORD QUAYS, England – Australia’s Village Roadshow announced
in July that it has formed an alliance with United Kingdom’s
Manchester United soccer club.
The co-venture, labeled “Red Cinema” after the player’s
red jerseys, will develop and market cinemas targeting soccer fans.
The circuit was set to launch the Red
Cinema concept in its existing 7-plex in the Manchester
suburb of Salford Quays. Retrofits of
the multi, to be
Cinema of Dreams,” were expected to come on line by late
August or early September. The facility will benefit from a 6-month
new digital projectors in three of its auditoria.
The new projectors will allow the multi
to be used for live cinemacasts of select Manchester
United games, replays of matches, live music
DVD launches, according to Variety.
The circuit expects to expand its Red
Cinema concept to Singapore within a year, followed
by eventual expansion into China.
Melbourne, Australia-based Village Roadshow
Ltd. currently operates approximately 1,139 screens
at 134 sites.
18-Year Circuit Vet
TORONTO – Cineplex Odeon Corp. announced July
3 the appointment of Sam DiMichele as the circuit’s
An 18-year veteran of the Canadian circuit,
DiMichele had served as general manager, responsible
for managing all aspects of the business, since July
“I have known Sam throughout his
career at Cineplex and have seen him take charge of
the company under very difficult times for the movie
industry,” noted circuit chairman Allen Karp.
Toronto-based Cineplex Odeon, a subsidiary
of New York-based Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp.,
currently operates 634 screens at 74 sites.
15 Slated For Pulianas
Kinepolis Sets Spain
Opening For Spring
PULIANAS, Spain – Kinepolis Group was in June
set to commence construction of its second multi in
Spain – a 15-plex slated to open in May 2004
in the southern city of Pulianas.
The 4,500-seat multi will be situated
on the second floor of a large shopping and leisure
building and was set to include 3,000 parking spaces,
Belgium-based Kinepolis currently operates
285 screens at 21 sites in Belgium, France, The Netherlands,
Spain, Switzerland and Poland.
Mobile Phone One-Click
20 British Sites Launch
Interactive Movie Posters
LONDON – United Kingdom-based Hypertag in July
launched in 20 British cinemas its new electronic tag
technology – enabling infrared cell phone and
PDA users to download movie content by pointing their
devices at film posters.
The tags, battery-powered electronic
transmitters installed in posters, offer users Website
links where they can
download music, movie stills and trailers
as well as information concerning nearest cinemas and online box offices.
U.S. Trade Initiatives
Congress Passes Chile,
SINGAPORE – The U.S. House of Representatives on July 24 passed trade
agreements with Chile and Singapore, eliminating tariff and customs barriers
to U.S. entertainment products.
The agreement allows for strict anti-piracy
enforcement and copyright standards (In
Members of the Entertainment Industry
Coalition for Free Trade applauded the move, heralding
it as a much anticipated victory for the entertainment
Multis in Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica
Cinemark Opens 6, Plans 14
TUXTLA GUTIERREZ, Mexico – Cinemark International
unveiled its new 8-plex in the Southern Mexico town of Tuxtla Gutierrez
June 6, and announced fall
openings for an 8-plex in Costa Rica and a 6-plex in Chile.
The 1,850-seat, 35,389-square-foot facility
on Tuxtla Gutierrez’s Galerias
Boulevard in Mexico was built within the popular Liverpool, a site named for
the region’s largest department store.
“To date, we have constructed 265
screens throughout Mexico,” said
Cinemark International president Tim Warner. “We have always believed in
the potential of the Tuxtla site.”
Set to bow in October, the 8-screen
1,600-seat Multiplaza del Este in San Jose, Costa Rica,
will be the circuit’s second cinema in that nation.
The 29,148-square-foot facility will be a component
of a large entertainment, shopping and activity
The 6-screen Plaza Norte Theatre in
the Santiago, Chile, suburb of Huechuraba was set to
bow in early November and will be the circuit’s
12th facility in Chile.
Filling 24,844 square feet, the 1,340-seat
plex will be an addition to a modern retail development
All facilities feature, or were set
to feature, stadium-style seating, high-backed rocker
love seats with cupholder armrests and wall-to-wall
Cinemark currently operates 3,045 screens
in 33 U.S. states and 14 countries outside of the United
States, including Argentina,
Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua,
Peru and Taiwan.