Mann Theaters, flagship seven-state circuit of the Paramount-Warner Bros, joint venture Cinamerica, issued a memo Feb.1 informing employees that a fourth of all home and district office personnel are being fired.

“Purpose of this announcement is to make everyone aware of a staff restructuring which the company will begin implementing today,” stated the memorandum. The advisory also said that, in addition, a number of functions will be “reorganized and consolidated.”

One of the rationales offered in the memo was that Mann Theaters had reached the end of an expansion cycle. The circuit, which numbered 450 screens last May, is expected to level off at 535 screens this year, culminating an 85-screen expansion initiated by Ted Mann, recently retired founder and chairman of the chain.

The memo was signed by Ben Littlefield and Ken Crowe, the team placed in interim charge of the circuit under the supervision of a four-man Cinamerica operating committee that is expected to recommend a successor to Mann. Crowe is senior v.p. and treasurer, Littlefield v.p.-operations.

“While the company will continue to invest in the business to remain competitive,” explained Littlefield and Crowe, “the number of new projects will decline in the future. Consequently, the effort required to initiate, execute and monitor these projects will diminish.”

Some positions were eliminated immediately, the memo noted, but others will be phased out over the next several months.

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