20 similar sites to develop over the next 5 years

ROME — Medusa Film, the film production, distribution and exhibition division of Silvio Berlusconi’s Fininvest Group, will unveil its first multiplex Friday in Bologna as part of an extensive program to develop 20 similar sites over the next five years.

The first multiplex to open in Bologna and the largest in the surrounding Emilia Romagna region, the Medusa Multicinema houses nine screens with total seating for 2,202. Also included are bars, ice cream and refreshment stands, a restaurant-pizzeria, a multimedia store and a 600-space parking area.

Bologna has been named European cultural capital for the year 2000. The northern town has the highest concentration of cinemas and the largest number of films screened of any Italian city after Rome and Milan.

In addition to Medusa’s multiplex development plans, which involve a total investment of nearly 534 billion lira ($278 million), the company has pacted with the Imax to build at least six megascreen theaters in Italy in the next four years.

Medusa’s exhibition arm, Cinema 5, currently controls 80 screens throughout Italy.

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