MADRID — Yelmo Cineplex de Espana, a joint venture of Sony-controlled Loews Cineplex and Spanish partner Yelmo Films, has announced one of the most ambitious multiplex construction plans ever in Spain.

Already Spain’s second biggest exhibition circuit (behind local circuit UCC), Yelmo Cineplex operates 181 screens, wholly owning 108. It now aims to construct an additional 160 at 11 shopping malls by the end of 2000.

Estimated total investment for the rollout stands at some $100 million.

The Yelmo Cineplex game plan suggests that, despite exhibitors’ complaints of multiplex saturation in some outlying districts of Madrid and Barcelona, there is still ample growth potential for targeted, cutting-edge multi- and megaplexes in Spain.

Cinemagoers are currently flooding to Kinepolis’ 25-screen mega just outside Madrid, despite little publicity.