Sunny plans Balkan plex

BUDAPEST — In a development that could re-energize the ailing Balkan exhibition industry, top Bulgarian distributor Sunny Entertainment Ltd. announced that it has partnered with the Sofia municipal government in a scheme to build a $3.5 million cineplex in the Sofia suburb of Ljulin.

The Sofia municipality is providing the Ljulin real estate where the theater will be built, and Sunny is developing a plan to offer Canadian multiplex developer/exhibitor Cineplex Odeon Corp. a stake in the deal.

“We want to connect with the Canadians at Cineplex Odeon who constructed the (Polus Center) multiplex in Budapest,” said Sunny executive director Vessilin Savov. He was speaking of Odeon’s Hungarian sixplex, which opened last December. “We’ll officially invite the Cineplex Odeon people to Sofia in the summer and make a proposal to them.”

This development plan comes in the wake of street protests that led to the ouster of Bulgaria’s antireform government, and the installation of new, more pro-industry forces.

Anna Leroux, head of Cineplex Odeon’s Budapest office, said the company wants to build multiplexes in other Eastern European markets besides Hungary.

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