Investment Firm Proposes Buy of 3,142 Screens
Purchase Of Giant
PLANO, Texas – Cinemark, the United States’ 3rd-largest
cinema chain, announced March 12 that it has signed an
agreement to be acquired by Chicago-based private investment
firm Madison Dearborn Partners. The transaction was approved
by the circuit’s board and its shareholders, and
was expected to close in April.
The deal, valued at about $1.5 billion
according to The
Hollywood Reporter, ends a 1996 investment made
by private equity concern, the Cypress Group, which invested
million for a 44-percent stake. The circuit’s founder,
chairman and CEO Lee Roy Mitchell, and other senior executives
will “retain significant equity stakes in the company” according
to the trade publication.
Mitchell, along with other existing Cinemark
staff, was expected to remain with the company after
Plano, Texas-based Cinemark operates 3,142
screens in 33 U.S. states and 12 international markets.
San Bruno Multiplex In Works
Century Calls For
Bay Area 20-Plex
SAN BRUNO, Calif. – Century Theatres
broke ground Feb. 12 on its new 20-plex in San Bruno,
Calif., at the
intersection of El Camino Real and Interstate 380.
Located five minutes from the San Francisco Airport,
the facility will be situated in The Shops at Tanforan
retail complex and will feature stadium-style seating,
rocker seats with retractable armrests, digital stereo
sound, wall-to-wall screens and a Cinema Café.
The site is expected to open late next year.
“As a key part of our redevelopment of The Shops
at Tanforan, the new Century multiplex is going to be
a major attraction
for the community and will be a tremendous asset to the
overall shopping, dining and entertainment experience,” noted
Greg Wattson, senior vice president of Wattson Breevast,
the firm developing the shopping center.
San Rafael, Calif.-based Century operates more than
900 screens in 11 states.
Decatur Single Has Twins!
Avon Adds Annex
DECATUR, Ill. – Avon Theatre owner Skip Huston announced plans in February
to construct a twin annex next door to his historic 1916 single in downtown Decatur,
to bow by early summer, the new annex will include stadium-style
seating, high-backed rocker seats, digital sound and
wall-to-wall screens. The 200-seat auditoria will feature
high-definition video capabilities in addition to standard
Huston also plans to enhance his concessions area with
a full-feature popcorn shop offering selections such
as carmel corn and cheese corn, and will also offer low-carb
candy, cookies and ice cream.
Peoria Springs 18-Plex
Rave Boasts March
Opening In Illinois
PEORIA, Ill. – Rave Motion Pictures celebrated
a March 12 grand opening for its Grand Prairie 18-plex
in Peoria, Ill.
Described as having an “eye-catching, art-deco,
neon-infused exterior,” the 4,000-seat facility,
located at the northwest corner of the Shoppes at Grand
Prairie, features stadium-style seating with 18-inch
risers, 4-foot row depths, high-backed recliner seats
with cupholder armrests and digital sound systems.
In addition to a full-service concession stand with
digital menus, the lobby features MP3 players for watching
and virtual video games. Satellite concession stands
are situated in each wing of the facility while a party
room designed for birthdays and corporate events, among
other things, is located adjacent to the lobby.
The facility hosted a March 11 “community night” benefiting
five local charities, including the Community Workshop
Training Center, Easter Seals, The Children’s Hospital,
The Neighborhood House and Newspapers in Education.
Dallas-based Rave currently operates 201 screens at
13 sites in Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, Ohio,
Indiana and Texas.
Landmark, REG Offer
Variety Oscar Guide
LOS ANGELES – In a partnership with America Online, Variety Custom Publishing
started distributing on Feb. 25 its “An Insider’s Guide to the Oscars” to
125,000 frequent moviegoers at Regal and Landmark facilities.
Loyalty program members received
a 28-page, full-color magazine offering Oscar contender
analysis, a voting ballot and more.
CFO Hunter Promoted to Chief Operating
Wallace To Add 180
Screens Over 2 Years
Ore. – The 477-screen Wallace Theatres circuit
will open 180 additional screens over the next two years,
the chain announced Feb. 23.
“Our equity sponsors, GTCR Golder
Rauner LLC, have committed funding for immediate new
construction of state-of-the-art
stadium-style megaplexes,” said circuit CEO Scott
The circuit’s press release offered
no additional details on the expansion, but did offer
a new key management restructuring.
A 10-year exhibition vet, senior vice
president and chief financial officer John Hunter was
promoted to chief operating
officer and will be responsible for operations, concessions,
marketing and corporate development, reporting directly
to Wallace. Hunter previously served as chief financial
officer and treasurer for Los Angeles-based Pacific Theatres,
and also managed Oaktree Capital’s investment in
and restructuring and sale of Landmark Theatres. He also
served as an advisor to Loews Cineplex’s owner,
Paul Rosenfeld was appointed senior vice
president, head film buyer for the circuit. Prior to
Rosenfeld served as executive vice president and head
of distribution for Gramercy Pictures. He was also an
executive vice president and head film buyer for Mann
Tim Wood has stepped down as circuit president,
segueing into a role as an “exclusive consultant” to
Vice chairman Walt Aman has joined the
Wallace board as a director.
Portland, Ore.-based Wallace currently
operates 477 screens at 58 sites.
Autumn Bow In Wilmington
North Carolina 16
WILMINGTON, N.C. – Consolidated Theatres on Feb. 23 announced plans to
construct a new 16-plex in Wilmington, N.C.
Slated to bow this autumn, the facility will be a major
component of the new 400-acre Mayfaire Town Center development,
a retail, office, hotel and residential
community located along Military Cutoff Road and State Highway 74.
The 57,380-square-foot, 2,999-seat facility will feature
stadium-style seating with 18-inch risers, high-backed
rocker seats with retractable cupholders,
wall-to-wall screens and digital sound. An enhanced concessions area will
offer specialty coffees, Pizzeria Uno pizza, Coca-Cola beverage products
items. The site will also feature the circuit’s MovieAwards customer-loyalty
“Wilmington has such a storied history in the
film industry and an even brighter future,” said
circuit president and CEO Herman Stone.
Consolidated currently operates 111 screens at 16
sites in Virginia and the Carolinas
Is North Carolina Bound
Epic Earmarks 12;
HENDERSON, N.C. – A December opening is planned for a new Epic Theatres
12-plex in Henderson, N.C., at the intersection of Four Seasons Boulevard and
Interstate 26, the circuit announced March 10.
The 41,000-square-foot facility will feature stadium-style
seating, wall-to-wall screens, Dolby digital sound, high-backed
chairs with retractable armrests and “extra-wide” spacing
between rows. The 2,100-seat site will also include automated
ticket machines, a customer service desk and party rooms.
“Our new stadium-style facility will enhance the
theatre experience, and the selection of films available
to area moviegoers,” said circuit vice president
DeLand, Fla.-based Epic currently operates 27 screens at 4 sites in Florida
Dullea Achievement Honored
CATO Presents $17,000
To Scholarship Winners
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – As part of its Dec. 11 gala and membership meeting
at the New Haven Lawn and Tennis Club in New Haven, Conn., the Connecticut
Association of Theatre Owners (CATO) announced its 2003 scholarship recipients,
and honored actor Keir Dullea with its annual “Distinguished Achievement
The organization also presented Yale-New Haven Pediatrics with $15,000.
CATO president Ted Maliglowka presented $17,000 in
individual scholarship awards ranging from $500 to $3,000.
Selections were made from applications
by employees of member exhibitors and were based upon merit and necessity.
Dullea received his award for accomplishments in theatre
and more than 24 motion pictures, including “David and Lisa,” “Madame X” and
Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” As co-founder
of the Theatre Artists Workshop in Westport, Conn., and member of the Actor’s
Studio, Dullea was at the time of the CATO meeting appearing opposite wife
Maya in the off-Broadway production “The Exonerated.”
Previous recipients of the CATO achievement award include
writer-producer Luther Davis (“Lady in a Cage”), director Frank Oz (“The Score”),
and actors Elizabeth Wilson (“Quiz Show”), Hayley Mills (“The
Parent Trap”) and Paul Giamatti (“American Splendor”).