Czech arthouses form Osa 9 alliance

Goal to coordinate screenings, consolidate rental power

PRAGUE — Leading Czech independent cinemas Evald, Mat, Aero and Svetozor are linking up to revitalize the Prague arthouse scene.

The venues, which have a combined capacity of fewer than 1,000 seats, had previously competed against one another. But the theaters have joined forces under the moniker Osa 9 to coordinate screenings and consolidate their rental power.

Local exhibs such as CineMart and Slovakia’s SPI Intl., which had to book several different theaters to ensure a four-week run, have welcomed Osa 9, named after the tram route that links the theaters.

It “creates new possibilities for our films,” said SPII managing director Jana Hloukova.

Despite their status as the home of premieres from local talent such as helmer Jan Hrebejk, the cinemas will not likely pose much of a threat to the majors. What they will offer is an org dedicated to the Prague indie spirit.

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