Construction on first project already begun
BUDAPEST — Canada’s Cineplex Odeon Corp. has embarked on a development plan to bring as many as 12 state-of-the-art cineplexes to the Turkish market over the next three years.According to Cineplex Odeon’s Turkish partner the TransTurk Group, the Odeon-led consortium has already begun construction of its first venue, a five-screen multiplex in the Profilo shopping mall in the Istanbul district of Mecidiyekoy. “We are told that the Profilo cinema is the same quality as any in New York City,” said TransTurk representative Mehmet Al-tioklar. Cineplex Odeon has partnered with the Turkish conglomerate TransTurk in a “franchise” agreement that is expected to evolve into a joint-venture deal. In addition to the Profilo five-plex, the multiplexes on COC/TransTurk’s drawing board will bring between 80 and 100 screens to Turkey by the end of the year 2000. With the Profilo budgeted to cost U.S. $2 million, the investment by Cineplex Odeon/TransTurk could be as low as $24 million. COC and other developers such as Istanbul distributor/exhibitor Ozenfilm, also active in cinema renovation and construction, are expected to revitalize Turkey’s shrunken cinema industry. In 1997, the Turkish cinema boasted a total attendance of 17.8 million out of a population of 65 million people. According to TransTurk representative Mehmet Altioklar, Turkey’s annual attendance could expand to between 20 million and 25 million moviegoers when the COC plexes are up and running.