'Shrek' helps kick off preems, screenings

PARIS — The French box office, already up 10% on the same period last year, is set to get another boost from the Fete du Cinema, a promotion unveiled by French exhibs Friday.

Fete du Cinema, which drew 3.8 million admissions last year, will kick off June 24 with a week of premieres and special screenings in cinemas all over France, starting with DreamWorks’ “Shrek.”

A Parisian metro train station dedicated to cinema, the latest in a series of “themed” stations, will also be unveiled June 29. The Bonne Nouvelle metro stop, permanently transformed to resemble a film studio, lies opposite one of Paris’ most famous cinemas, the Grand Rex.

But the real goal of the “Fete du Cinema,” organized by French exhibitors’ Federation National des Cinemas Francais (FNCF), is to boost attendance. Cinemagoers who pay the full price for a ticket between July 1-3 will be able to attend as many other films as they wish for 10 francs ($1.30) each.

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