Megaplex multiples

UGC-Cinecite Spain readies five-year plan

MADRID — Outlining huge ambitions for Spain, UGC-Cinecite Spain has announced plans to build 15 megaplexes in Spain over the next five years.

With AMC and Kinepolis also advancing on further megaplex sites, UGC-Cinecite’s new gameplan suggests that the most bullish cinema operators at least think that the real money in Spain is now to be made in megaplexing.

UGC-Cinecite’s upscaled construction designs come as Camille Trumer, UGC-Cinecite Spain’s CEO over the last two years, announced that he will ankle his post to become director of Universal Video Intl. in France.

“In France I will oversee the merger of the video divisions of Universal, Polygram and DreamWorks under the common distrib banner of Universal Video,” Trumer told Daily Variety. Universal Video will launch in France in early July.

Forward ho

Trumer’s departure will hardly halt the construction plans at UGC-Cinecite Spain, however. The Spanish exhibition subsid of French major UGC bowed its first multiplex, the Mendez Alvaro 12-plex, in Madrid, in December 1997. At that time, company insiders spoke of opening one large multiplex in Spain over each of the following five years.

But, responding to competition from other operators, UGC-Cinecite has upped its ante, earmarking some $140 million for 15 megaplexes, initiating its new strategy with an accord to build a 20-plex, 5,400-seater in Getafe, Southern Madrid, to open in 2001. And it is studying a further megaplex site in Alicante. The Mendez-Alvaro complex will also bow four more screens in early 2000.

Trumer, who was sole CEO, will be replaced at UGC-Cinecite Spain by a dual direction team of Alvaro Postigo, who will be responsible for management, programming and marketing, and a yet-to-be-announced Spanish exec who will replace Alexandra Lebret.