Brighter future for Astoria Cinemas
by Annika Pham
Sweden’s arthouse exhibition chain Astoria Cinemas has just been saved from bankruptcy thanks to an agreement reached last Friday with the majority of its 260 creditors, who accepted to write off 75% of the company’s debt.
Astoria, which filed for receivership last October, will therefore have to reimburse approximately SEK 17m (€1.8m) of its SEK 62m (€6.6m) non-prioritised debts. The Swedish Film Institute, which is owed the highest debt (around €967,584) in unpaid cinema ticket fees, was one of two creditors who said no to the agreement but eventually had to accept it.
“I more than anyone else regret that creditors will not get more and, of course, I would have wanted the situation to be different”, said Astoria’s Managing Director and Arthouse Distributor Mattias Nohrborg (Triangel Film). He added: “At the same time, I am relieved because the agreement provides more safety to my employees and cinemagoers will be able to keep a clear alternative”.
Astoria is still in need of a new cash injection to get back on its feet, and Nohrborg confirmed to daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter that he is in serious negotiations with new investors.
Astoria Cinemas was founded in May 2005 when distribution companies Triangel Film and Atlantic teamed up with producer S/S Fladen to buy Sandrew Metronome’s exhibition chain, which included 22 cinemas and 89 screens in 15 cities.
Last October, after having filed for receivership, the company decided to close down nine of its cinemas in smaller towns and to sell another three to rival chain SF Bio while retaining control of its six cinemas in Stockholm, two in Göteborg and one in Malmö.
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