CULTURE

Athens to get two new multiplex cinemas

Just as the Village Roadshow entertainment company announced its plans to join an investor group launching two new entertainment parks in the Athenian suburbs of Ilissia and Aghioi Anargyroi, two new initiatives in the multiplex cinema market are about to change the city center: In September 2003, two new entertainment complexes, on Vassilisis Sofias Avenue and Acharnon Street, are scheduled to open their doors. The 14,000-square-meter Vassilisis Sofias multiplex, located right next to the Ippocrateio Hospital in the heart of the Athenian cinema district – and under construction by Dakon – is bound to cause a few ripples as the surrounding area is currently home to eight movie theaters operating 12 screens. Village Roadshow was originally favored to earn the right to use the new multiplex, but a deal was subsequently struck with Citiplaza. The managing director of Village Roadshow, Haris Antonopoulos, quashed rumors in a past statement to Kathimerini, explaining that the Australian company is not eager to appear in areas which already have a large number of screens. «We don’t want to take customers away from traditional movie theaters, but to create new ones,» he said. Competition for the Acharnon complex, located near the Aghios Eleftherios Church and owned by Ster Century Cinemas, is bound to be less in Patissia, an area where only one cinema survives on Acharnon Street, the Oscar. The new multiplex will have 10 screens, seating a total of 2,000 people. Ster Century made its first appearance a few years ago in Thessaloniki with an 11-screen multiplex and it was recently bought by the Cyprus-based company Drematco. Village Roadshow’s investment in Ilissia and Aghioi Anargyroi reflects the direction which players in the entertainment business are taking, moving to western and southern Athens, areas which have a small number of movie theaters and whose transport networks are currently under development.