This Wednesday Cinema City opened its 14th Romanian multiplex in Ploiesti, the largest outside Bucharest. The movie theater operator’s total investment on the local market is predicted to reach the EUR 100 million threshold in 2013, and the figure will increase even further as the company wants to more than double its local network over the next couple of years, BR learned.
With 12 screens – all of them digital and seven 3D – and 2,087 seats, Cinema City’s latest multiplex, which opened this week in Ploiesti Shopping City, is said to be the largest nationwide outside the capital Bucharest.
The project cost some EUR 5 million, taking Cinema City’s total investments in Romania close to EUR 100 million, a level which should be reached in 2013, said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cinema City International, at the opening event.
While further expansion depends on the opening of new shopping malls, Greidinger disclosed that the company has ambitious plans for the next couple of years and has set out to reach 30 multiplexes on the local market in 2014.
“When we came here in 2007 and said we wanted to reach 20 multiplexes people looked at me like I was crazy but today, despite the economic situation, we are opening our 14th multiplex and we want to reach 30,” said the CEO.
Cinema City opened its first local multiplex in 2007, but due to the country’s size, Romania had been on the company’s radar as early as 2000. However, a lack of shopping mall developments led the company to postpone its local entrance. “The minute we had the opportunity to come here we took it with both hands,” said Greidinger.
Confident in the growth potential of the local market, he expects Romania to become the second ranking country in terms of sales in about two or three years, behind Poland. “Right now Poland is number one and Israel comes in second but this is mostly because of higher ticket prices. But there is no doubt Romania will move up to second if you look at the size of the country and its potential. We are well advanced already: 14 multiplexes is a very respectable chain,” he said.
While not disclosing the actual turnover, the CEO said the company would end 2012 with good results in Romania in spite of a slow start attributable to the European Football Championship and the Olympics. Box office successes this year in Romania include such movies as The Dark Night, Madagascar, Ice Age and Skyfall. The operator also has big hopes for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first film in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, which will be released mid-December.
At present Cinema City operates a network of 98 multiplexes with a total of 943 screens in Israel, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Slovakia. Another 29 are under construction.
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