London’s abandoned Battersea Power Station will be the site of the U.K.’s first state-of-the-art megaplex — and Europe’s largest cinema complex — according to sources.Warner Village Cinemas, a joint venture between Warner Bros. Intl. Theaters and Australia’s Village Roadshow Intl., reportedly plans to build a $56 million, 32-screen theater in the colossal relic on the Thames. The 200,000-square-foot Power Plex is part of a planned retail-and- entertainment complex by Battersea owner Parkview Intl. The 8,200-seat plex will feature stadium seating, digital sound and high-backed chairs, in auditoriums ranging from 150 to 600 seats, sources said. Executives at Warner Bros. Intl. Theatres and Village Roadshow could not be reached for comment. In addition to the cinema, Parkview has proposed a 280,000-square-foot post-production facility, two hotels, two 1,800-seat legit theaters, exhibition pavilions, restaurants, shops and office space. Since the electrical generating plant went offline in 1981, the familiar landmark has been the target of a number of ambitious redevelopment plans, all of which have foundered. Located in a largely residential district, the power station is linked to central and south London by railroad tracks. Warner Bros. will hold its June 23 U.K. preem of “Batman & Robin” at the site. The Sunday Times reported earlier this week that Michael Jackson had toured Battersea as a potential site for a “self-contained fantasy centre.” Jackson is teamed with Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal in a venture to develop theme parks, as well as films and videos. However, sources close to Jackson said Battersea is just one of a number of European sites the singer is considering.
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