— Europe’s largest exhib, Odeon and UCI Cinemas, is continuing to expand, acquiring nine cinemas and two pipeline cinemas (with a total of 77 screens) in Ireland from Entertainment Enterprises Group.

In another move toward expanding its European presence, the continent’s largest exhib, Odeon and UCI Cinemas, has acquired nine existing cinemas and two pipeline cinemas in Ireland with a total of 77 screens from Entertainment Enterprises Group.

Odeon/UCI, owned by Brit private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners, will pick up an existing circuit of two former UCI Cinemas at Blanchardstown and Coolock, five Storm Cinemas, a newly opened UCI site at Newbridge and the Stillorgan cinema recently acquired from Ormonde Cinemas.

Entertainment Enterprises also recently signed leases to operate a nine-screen cinema at Charlestown and a six-screen cinema at the Point in Dublin, and Odeon/UCI will operate both sites.

The exhib is in discussions to include a 400-seat IMAX screen at the Point. Odeon already operates 11 existing IMAX sites in Europe.

Dublin’s Point Cinema will open at the end of the year while Charlestown will open at the end of 2012.

“We consider this an important strategic investment for our company consistent with our leadership position in other European territories such as UCI Spain and UCI Italy,” said Odeon/UCI CEO Rupert Gavin.

Odeon/UCI operates 857 screens across 110 sites in the U.K. and Ireland, and the group operates 2,062 screens from 217 sites across Europe as a whole.