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Warner exhib unit moving

Intl. Cinemas arm shifts to Shanghai

Warner Bros. exhibition unit Warner Bros Intl. Cinemas is moving its architecture and construction center from London to Shanghai as it shifts focus from Europe to building cinemas in developing territories.

The relocation “marks a milestone in our expansion plans here and further demonstrates WBIC’s commitment to the China market,” the company said. “China is the next growth frontier for WBIC,” said Millard Ochs, prexy of the Warner unit.

“We’ve been developing an operations program in China. We would like to pursue Vietnam and India, and it’s much easier to do that from China than London,” Ochs said.

The Shanghai office employs 46 people, including 12 who handle cinema construction and design, but the unit may add staff later, Ochs said.

As part of its expansion, Warner Bros. signed an agreement to open theaters in malls operated by real estate developer Dalian Wang Group, another Warner Bros. spokesman said.

Warner has 65 multiplexes in Japan, Italy and China, with more than 600 screens. It also operates 16 theaters with 106 screens in the U.S.

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