Plex-building: das boom

LONDON — United Cinemas Intl. continues its aggressive push in Germany with another six multiplexes.

Eleven other new complexes were announced earlier this year, along with two in Austria. Nine of the multis are already under construction, UCI said, with the rest at various stages of development or municipal government approval.

At present, UCI is the fifth-largest exhibitor (by screen) in Germany with five multis representing 60 screens. The new sites would addl 134 screens in Germany. The two Austrian sites — in Vienna and Graz — represent 17 screens.

Five of the plexes are for the Berlin area. The first to bow, however, will be a nine-screener in the city of Cottbus in the former East Germany, skedded for June 25.

Construction to be completed in Germany this year includes a sixplex and an eightplex in Berlin (November) as well as a seven-screener in Duisburg (also November) and an eightplex in Gera (December).

The other UCI multis under construction — due in 1998 — are 10- and nine-screen sites for Hamburg, a nineplex for Duesseldorf, another nineplex for Augsberg and an eight-screener in Potsdam.

Raymond Smith, VP for UCI in Germany, said he expects the company’s other German multis to proceed, including a nineplex in Frankfurt, skedded for 1999.

Germany currently has only 40 multiplexes. “There is always a difference between the amount of announced multiplexes and the amount that are actually going ahead,” Smith said. “But whenever there has been expansion, there has been a big expansion in attendance figures.”

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