S. Africa exhib Ster launches reign in Spain

853-square-foot site among Euro's biggest

MADRID — Ster Century, the European trading brand of South African cinema operator Ster Kinekor, will open its first multi in Spain, a 12-screen, 3,000-seat plex, on April 20.

One of the screens at the site, in a Madrid suburb, will measure 260 square meters (853 square feet), making it among the biggest in Europe.

A second Ster site, a nineplex, will bow in May in the northern city of Vitoria.

Now under general manager Jonathan Mark Keeling, Ster Cines, the Spanish subsid of Ster Century, plans to open two megaplexes in 2002. It also is eyeing the Portuguese market, company sources said.

Ster Century has built 13 multiplexes and more than 150 screens in Europe since 1998. Investment by year-end 2000 ran at just under $200 million. Ster Century will invest a further $90 million raising its multiplex count in Europe to 21 by the end of the year.

Its plans may be affected, however, by the fact that its owners, Ker Saf (50%) and Primedia (50%), put Ster Century on the market late last year. Primedia aims to focus on its core business in South Africa, and has declared its interest in acquiring a broadcasting arm.

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