×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

FilMart: Korea’s Lotte Opens Hong Kong Theater, Eyes China (EXCLUSIVE)

Korea’s second largest exhibitor, Lotte Cinema has opened its first theater in Hong Kong.

The new complex, named L Cinema, in Shau Kei Wan, comes with just two auditoria of 87 seats each.

It was originally set to open on Jan. 29, but due to a license issue the opening was pushed back a week to Feb. 5. It opened just in time for Chinese New Year with “The Good Dinosaur” in 2D and 3D, and Hong Kong-director director Wong Jing’s “From Vegas to Macau 3.”

Hong Kong is the third territory that Lotte has entered, following Vietnam and China, where it operates 23 and 11 theaters, respectively. Yet the company remains discrete about its Hong Kong launch.

The L Cinema is located in Shau Kei Wan at the eastern tip of Hong Kong Island, a site that is not a typical cinema location, being neither a major retail destination, nor a position with significant through traffic. The cinema’s screening times are not listed on the popular HK Movies app and are similarly not advertised in all Hong Kong newspapers. Its Facebook page has 7,200 likes.

One explanation for the Hong Kong opening – and the low profile — may be that the company is seeking to change the status of its exhibition operations in mainland China.

Foreign companies are limited to a maximum 49% ownership stake in cinemas in China. However, the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between Hong Kong and China, allows Hong Kong cinema companies to own majority shareholdings, not exceeding 75%.

That is something that Hong Kong companies including Edko, UA/Lark and Golden Harvest have taken advantage of to build substantial circuits in China. It is also a rule that rival Korean conglomerate CJ-CGV has used. CJ-CGV operates a single screen Hong Kong cinema, the Lux, in the Hung Hom, Kowloon district.

Contacted by Variety, Lotte offered no comment about expanding taking greater ownership of its exhibition operations in China.

More Film

  • Mid 90s

    Jonah Hill's 'mid90s,' Pauline Kael Documentary to Screen in Berlin's Panorama Section

    Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, “mid90s,” about a 13-year-old skateboarder’s coming of age, and a documentary on influential film critic Pauline Kael are among the works that will screen in the Panorama section of the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. Films starring Tilda Swinton and Jamie Bell and titles from countries including Israel, Brazil and Japan were [...]

  • 'Your Name' Director Makoto Shinkai Readies

    ‘Your Name' Director Makoto Shinkai Readies 'Weathering'

    Three years after the animation “Your Name” began its long triumphant reign over the Japanese and international box office, its director Makoto Shinkai has announced his next animated feature. Titled “Weathering With You,” the film will arrive in theaters in Japan on July 19 of next year, with Toho distributing. Set in a world where [...]

  • Berlin: The Match Factory Boards New

    Berlin: The Match Factory Boards Competition Titles From Fatih Akin, Emin Alper (EXCLUSIVE)

    German indie powerhouse The Match Factory will handle world sales on two Berlin Film Festival competition titles: German director Fatih Akin’s serial-killer chiller “The Golden Glove” and Turkish director Emin Alper’s family drama “A Tale of Three Sisters.”  Akin, a Hamburg native whose “Head-On” won the Golden Bear in 2004, is returning to the Berlinale [...]

  • First-Look Image Revealed for ‘Monday,’ Starring

    First-Look Image Revealed for ‘Monday,’ Starring ‘Captain America’s’ Sebastian Stan

    The first-look image from Greek director Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ “Monday,” starring Sebastian Stan – best known for “I, Tonya” and the “Captain America” movies – and “Colette’s” Denise Gough, has been released. Protagonist Pictures will launch international sales on the pic in Berlin. “Monday” follows the story of Mickey (Stan) and Chloe (Gough), two Americans in [...]

  • The Wedding

    Film Review: 'The Wedding'

    Two considerations need to exist side by side when discussing “The Wedding,” the debut feature of Egyptian-American multihyphenate Sam Abbas. One involves the film itself, a dull slice of Lower Manhattan mumblecore about a heterosexual New York couple fitfully planning their wedding until she discovers his gay dalliance. The other, getting the lion’s share of [...]

  • The Best Gifts For Film Buffs

    Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Gifts For Film Buffs

    Whether you know a film buff who needs to upgrade their collection, or you just want to upgrade your movie nights at home, here are eight gifts that will cast your favorite flicks in a whole new light. 1. Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema: The Criterion Collection Thirty-nine films from the legendary Swedish filmmaker are collected in [...]

  • Ansel Elgort The Great High School

    Film News Roundup: Ansel Elgort to Star in 'The Great High School Imposter'

    In today’s film news roundup, Ansel Elgort is going to high school, “Rockaway” gets a release, and “Suspiria” producer Bradley Fischer is honored. CASTING Ansel Elgort has come aboard to star in the drama “The Great High School Imposter” for Participant Media and Condé Nast Entertainment. The project is based on a Daniel Riley GQ [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content