30 new multiplexes to open in Romania by 2016
by Stefan Dobroiu
- Cinema City leads the expansion plans with more than 20 new cinemas
Two cinema chains plan to open approximately 30 new cinemas by the end of 2016 in Romania. Cinema City has the most elaborate expansion plan, with 22 new cinemas to open over the next two and a half years. Meanwhile, Indian cinema chain Cine Grand will open seven new multiplexes by 2016, as part of a plan to open 100 screens in Romania by 2018.
Following an investment of €2.5 million, last week Cinema City opened the chain’s 17th Romanian cinema. Owned by Israel-based Cinema City International, at the end of last year the chain owned 16 cinemas comprising 145 screens and 27,000 seats in 12 cities. Cinema City owns the biggest cinema in the country, the 21-screen Cinema City Bucuresti AFI, and the only IMAX screen in Romania. According to annual figures published on the company's website, the chain sold 5.13 million tickets in 2013, approximately 57% of last year's total number of admissions (9 million).
With only 76 active theatres and 264 screens in 2013, Romania has a cinema for every 260,000 inhabitants and a screen for every 74,000 inhabitants, one of the lowest averages in Europe. Although the average number of admissions almost doubled over the last five years, it was only 0.45 per inhabitant in 2013, according to data published by the country’s National Film Center. Currently, 78% of the country’s towns do not have an active movie theatre.
The number of cinemas may increase further in the near future thanks to the Save the Big Screen campaign (see news). Launched by the Romanian Film Promotion Association, the organiser of both the Transilvania International Film Festival and the Romanian film industry awards, the Gopos, the campaign is expected to recondition and re-introduce into the country’s state cinema network at least some of the hundreds of movie theatres closed since the 1989 Revolution.