Bankrupt German Exhibitor’s
Loews & Kieft Team
To Buy 28 Ufa Sites
TORONTO – Loews Cineplex’s Toronto-based
parent company, Onex Corp., announced May 9 that Loews
is partnering with German exhib Kieft & Kieft Filmtheatre
(KKF) to acquire 173 screens at 28 sites from the bankrupt
The acquisitions will be 50-50 owned
by Loews and KKF, according to The
On its own, KKF
announced in February its decision to purchase 32 of
Ufa’s 37 sites (In Focus, May 2003).
New York-based Loews currently operates 3,025 screens
at 312 sites.
South Korean Exhib Spreads
Good Fellas Eyes
Vietnam For 9 Screens
DA NANG, Vietnam – South Korean-based exhib Good
Fellas is slated to unveil at least nine screens at
two sites in Vietnam by the end of the year, according
to the trade paper Screen Daily.
The new facilities will serve as components
of the exhibitor’s joint-venture chain, Diamond
A 500-seat triplex was slated to open
in May in the central city of Da Nang, Vietnam. A 1,000-seat
was set to bow November in the nation’s second
largest city of Hanoi. The circuit currently operates
a 3-plex in Ho Chi Minh City.
Good Fellas also announced it will soon
unveil a 7-plex in the southern city of Pusan, South
the circuit’s national site total to six.
Cinema Expo Honor
Odeon CEO Named
Exhib Of The Year
AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands – Richard Segal, CEO
of the London-based Odeon cinema chain, was honored
June 26 as Cinema Expo’s exhibitor of the year.
The 2003 confab was held June 23-26 at the RAI Convention
Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The United Kingdom’s largest
cinema chain with 608 screens at 97 sites, Odeon
was purchased by a consortium
of investors on March 7 (In
Segal is an original member of the
U.K. Film Policy Review Group as well as an executive
board member of
the Cinema Exhibitors Association. He holds membership
in the Film Skills Action Group and serves as a director
of the Business in Sport & Leisure lobbying group.
Past Cinema Expo exhibitor of the
year honorees include Europalaces’ Eduardo
Steve Wiener, UGC’s Guy Verrecchia and Kinepolis’ Albert
South Korean Expansion
Primus Plans 212
Screens By 2005
SEOUL, South Korea – Primus Cinema has announced
plans to launch 212 screens at 27 sites throughout
Korea by the end of 2005.
The South Korean circuit, which currently
operates 32 screens at five sites, plans to expand
capital city of Seoul, which currently rakes in around
40 percent of the nation’s box office. The circuit
is looking to build in cities with populations of more
than 300,000 people.
New facilities will feature the company’s newly
purchased local coffee chain, Holly’s.
Primus plans to operate 154 screens
at 21 sites by the close of next year.
Vivendi Cuts Assets
Bidders Vie For 850
UGC Circuit Screens
PARIS – Vivendi Universal in early May received
bids from two private equity groups interested in purchasing
Vivendi’s 58 percent holding in French circuit
UGC, according to Variety.
On May 7, the two remaining bidders
were LBO France and CDX Ixis. However, as a result
of a shareholder
pact, UGC owner Guy Verrachia still holds the power
to block any sale of the stakes.
If the purchase goes through, the buyer
would gain 850 screens in six countries as well as
stake in France’s leading distributor, UFD.
Bollywood On Big Screen
India Slated For
Three Imax Sites
HYDRABAD, India – Toronto-based Imax Corp. announced April 29 it has
signed an agreement with Aerens Developers & Engineers to construct three
state-of-the-art Imax sites in India. All are expected to be up and running
Two Imax facilities – the Adlabs
Imax Theatre in Mumbai and the Gujarat Science City
Imax 3-D Theatre in Ahmedabad – already grace
India, with a third site – the Prasad Imax Theatre
in Hydrabad – slated at press time for a June
“India, with its long history of
moviegoing culture, is an ideal market for Imax theatres,” noted
circuit co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler.
India ranks second behind China as the
fastest-growing Imax market.