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UltraStar, Letian Team to Build Chinese Theaters

Digital and 3D screens are planned

UltraStar Cinemas, a U.S.-owned exhib, is joining forces with China’s Letian Entertainment to deliver more than 40 digital movie theaters to Chinese audiences by 2016, the companies announced on Thursday.

The joint venture is on track to complete construction on three cinemas by year’s end. Another 40 cinemas are in the works to be completed by the end of 2016. The multiplexes will be located in the Changsha area of the Hunan province, each boasting approximately 10 screens with all-digital projection and 3D capabilities.

UltraStar and Letian also plan to offer alternative entertainment at the theaters, including concerts, sporting events, musicals and operas suited for the bigscreen.

John Ellison, prexy of UltraStar, says the time is nigh to build out theater space in China’s growing market, where urbanization is moving the population out of rural areas and into densely populated cities.

Letian is a subsidiary of China’s second-largest broadcast network, Hunan Broadcasting System. The Chinese network racked in revenues of 16.3 billion yuan ($2.6 billion) in 2012.

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