MADRID – Fulfilling its long-held dream to expand beyond its base in Paris, where it rates as the city’s best-known arthouse circuit, , Paris-based exhibition-international sales group MK2 has acquired Cinesur, the biggest cinema theater loop in southern Spain.

Deal was put through by MK2 CEO Nathanael Karmitz (pictured). A historic theater chain, founded by the Sanchez-Ramade family in 1932, Cinesur’s assets include 11 plexes spread between Seville, Cordoba, Malaga and Toledo. MK2’s buy-up includes nine of these theaters, accounting for 120 screens, 20,000 seats and nearly four million spectators a year: Broadly 6.5% of Spain’s total theatrical box office market.

Two further Cinesur complexes, both in Malaga, will shutter.

Also a highly active live-event organizer and alternative cinema exhibitor in Paris, MK2’s gameplan is both to spark synergies with Cinesur, creating cultural events which can been shown in both loops, and to export to Spain some of its best exhibition practices: On-site children’s workshops, subtitled programming, classics re-runs, special event staged in or outside the theaters.

The buy comes as Spain’s box office has plunged 46% from 2004, decimated by a perfect storm – piracy, economic crisis, an 8%-to-21% cinema ticket sales tax hike in 2012. But Spain’s box office shows signs of bottoming out. Through April 20, total theatrical grosses and tix sales were 12% and 29% up year-on-year, per Arturo Guillen, Rentrak VP, EMEA.

The new Spanish acquisition comprise: the seafront Cinesur Bahia de Cadiz, abutting an El Corte Ingles department store; Cinesur Conquistadores in Badajoz, the biggest city in south-west Spain’s Extremadura, on the border with Portugal; Cinesur El Ingenio, in Velez-Malaga in the Malaga province, Cinesur El Tablero, a a 15-screen megaplex in the city of Cordoba, northern Andalusia; and Cinesur Luz del Tajo in Toledo, an hour’s drive south of Madrid.

Also making the cut are the tourist-resort located Cinesur Miramar Fuengirola, Cinesur Malaga Nostrum, Malaga’s biggest theater, and two Seville locations: Cinesur Nervion Plaza, in one of its biggest central shopping malls, and Cinesur los Alcores, in the dormitory town of Alcala de Guadaira.