Circuit aiming at Brazil, Venezuela

MADRID — In a pioneering move, Spanish cinema circuit Cinebox is establishing Latin American footholds, targeting Venezuela and Brazil.

For its Venezuelan foray, the exhibition loop has created Unibox, a 50/50 joint venture with local distribution and exhibition company grupo Cines Unidos, which is controlled by the Ulivi family.

Unibox will open an eight-plex in the coastal city of Maracaibo before the end of the year. It aims to open two more multiplexes next year in the Venezuelan cities of Puerto la Cruz and Valencia. Cines Unidos will program all of Unibox’s theaters.

Cinebox also bowed offices in Brazil May 1, and is studying potential sites for two plexes, which would open in 2002. For now, Cinebox is going it alone in Brazil.

With the Spanish market showing signs of screen saturation, which has torpedoed the bottom lines of many U.S. exhibs, Cinebox’s entry into the Latin American market is a logical move.

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