Japanese distrib-exhib restructures organization

TOKYO — Toho, Japan’s leading distrib and exhibitor, will consolidate all its exhibition operations under the banner of wholly owned subsidiary Toho Cinemas.

The change streamlines the organization as the Japanese multiplex business matures and rivalries intensify.

Toho Cinemas operates 261 screens at 25 sites, with 117 under its direct management and 144 under the management of affiliates. The Toho parent company operates 200 screens, including 25 screens in two multiplex sites.

The 461 screens will be managed by Toho Cinemas. A nine-screen site will open in Osaka in November, making Toho Cinemas the largest exhib in the country.

As part of the restructuring, the company will unite regional subsidiaries in Hokkaido, Eastern Japan, Chubu, Kansai and Kyushu into one corporate group.

Toho execs approved the restructuring Tuesday; it will go in effect on Oct. 1. Toho Cinemas will remain a subsidiary, but will operate independently of Toho.

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