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Astoria sells two theaters to rival

Exhib/distrib is fighting for survival

STOCKHOLM — Troubled Swedish distrib/exhib Astoria Cinemas has sold two of its largest theaters to rival SF Bio in a bid to ensure its survival.

SF Bio takes over programming of the sites, the Biopalatset theaters in Stockholm and Gothenburg, this weekend.

As a part of the deal, Astoria gets the right to program four screens at the SF Bio cinemas in Lund and Uppsala, and to run five of the screens at the Biopalatset in Gothenburg.

“While we have been working on the reconstruction of Astoria, it has been obvious that we needed more money,” CEO Mattias Nohrborg said.

“The deal means we have saved the business and got a better structure for our concept to concentrate on quality pictures.”

Jan Bernhardsson, CEO at SF Bio, said that as a result of the deal, the company will take a closer look at the cinema structure in Stockholm and Gothenburg, but he would not reveal what changes would be made.

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