State-of-the-art cinema coming to Romania

By Patricia Koza

    The Light, a UK-based cinema exhibitor that provides state-of-the-art digital projection facilities with 3D capability, has signed deals to open cinemas on Nov. 1 in Bucharest and Oradea, Romania. The cinemas will also offer alternative content such as live opera broadcasts and sporting events

    The cinemas will have eight screens and as many as 1,500 seats - a huge contrast to the current situation in Romania, which has barely three dozen cinemas in the entire country and where film attendance declined in 2007.

    The Light was founded by two international cinema industry veterans, Keith Pullinger and John Sullivan, and is backed by private shareholders. Each cinema site will cost about €3 million to develop.

    "Our research has demonstrated that there is significant demand for seeing films at cinemas," Pullinger said in an email exchange with FNE. "The Light will introduce stunning, contemporary cinemas that will offer a great choice of films, supporting offers such as a café bar, and excellent customer service. We believe that with such facilities in place, it is only a matter of time before Romania's admissions catch up with other European countries."

    Although 3-D capability is still new in Central Europe, Pullinger said it's the wave of the future. "The film studios are all producing new movies in digital 3D with at least 12 major titles being released in 2009," he said. "We will be equipped to fully support this new wave of filmmaking and believe that 3D films will prove to be extremely popular with cinemagoers."

    The company expects to open at least two other cinema sites in 2009, with more to follow. Down the road, the company may check out prospects elsewhere in the region.

    "At present, our attention is fully focused on Romania," Pullinger said. "This, however, would not prevent us from considering other territories for expansion in the future."