Russian state distrib RKP inks private plex deals

City's first multiplex to be completed in 2003

MOSCOW — New state distribution company Rossissky Kino Prokat is developing public-private partnerships that will extend its reach.

RKP pacted Aug. 27, the day the org was incorporated, with St. Petersburg financial group SPB Banking to build the city’s first multiplex, skedded for completion in time for St. Petersburg’s 300th anniversary in 2003, as well as to renovate local screens and production facilities.

RKP will also develop Russia’s first mulitplex in Moscow with the city’s two top commercial exhibs, Caro and Empire of Film. The 2,200-seat seven- plex is skedded for completion in December.

RKP is expected to take a 50% stake in the venue, with the remaining share divided equally between the two private players. Caro runs eight screens in Moscow and two outside, while Empire of Film has a chain of eight cinemas in the capital.

Private players pleased

Development surprised many local commentators, since RKP was originally conceived to provide a higher exhib profile to domestic productions and channel commercial funds into Russian production — and to compete with private players. This cooperation has reassured commercial players.

There’s no sign of action at Moscow’s other multiplex, the 11-screen Oktyabr, which was developed by Vladimir Gusinsky’s Media-Most group. Though the venue has been ready for two years, financial and political trouble at the company has kept it dark.

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