China gets 1st arthouse chain

Six new screens up in Guangzhou, one of the country's top 10 film markets

BEIJING — China’s first arthouse theater chain recently opened in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province. Guangzhou Film Art Film Theater Chain is a co venture between Guangdong Film Co. and Guangzhou Film Co., two state owned interests.

The chain includes six theaters in Guangzhou. Also, the Guangzhou municipal government has approved more than 30 million yuan (nearly $4 million) over the next two years to renovate 13 cinemas and theaters, or more than half of the city’s total of 25.

Most of the cinemas were built right after 1949 and lack any fire prevention infrastructure.

Vice mayor Yao Rongbing is heading up a newly created team to oversee the project. The city invested more than $1 million several years ago to renovate the Caihong (Rainbow) theater.

Guangzhou is one of China’s top 10 film markets.

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