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Aussie plexer moving in on French scene

Village Roadshow out to pry open doors

PARIS — The opening of a $15 million multiplex in Nice, on the French Riviera, Wednesday will mark a banner day for Australia’s Village Roadshow in its bid to crack France’s plex market, currently dominated by the French groups UGC, Gaumont and Pathe.

But with plans to open 10 or 11 multiplexes in France over the next few years, Village Roadshow is hoping to prove that non-French players can also get a slice of the action.

The Oz-based company already has about 225 multiplexes in other European countries and in Asia, with annual revenues of almost $300 million.

Frenchman Didier Bedin, the managing director of Village Roadshow France, a 100% owned subsidiary, said Monday, “The fight is hard but we’ll find our place, no problem. Many of France’s cinemas are old and in need of replacement and so we think there is room for us.”