(April 28, 2004 - Burbank, CA) — The Monarch of Jiangsu Province is scheduled to join Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck at the official opening ceremony of the Shangying Warner Cinemas in Nanjing on Thursday, April 29. The theaters’ inaugural film will be Warner Bros. Pictures’ family adventure “Looney Tunes: Back in Action.” The Shangying Warner Cinema multiplex in Nanjing is a joint venture between Warner Bros. International Cinemas (WBIC) and Shanghai United Circuit. With a 51% ownership stake in the Shangying multiplex, WBIC is the first Western cinema investor to hold majority ownership in a Chinese cinema. “This theater is a major step in our ongoing efforts to bring Chinese moviegoers the finest Chinese and imported films in state-of-the-art facilities throughout the country,” said Millard Ochs, President, Warner Bros. International Cinemas. “Venues such as this represent the future of Chinese film exhibition and present a world of new possibilities for filmmakers and distributors alike.” The Shangying Warner Cinemas had a soft-opening period April 23-27, hosting a number of free screenings for the public, including a benefit for local charities. The state-of-the-art multiplex, featuring both traditional film and digital projection capabilities, has 2,200 seats in eight auditoriums with stadium-style seating. The décor in the theater lobby features the world-renowned Looney Tunes characters, as well as a large mural highlighting iconic images from Warner Bros. Pictures’ unmatched library of classic films. WBIC’s majority ownership in this joint venture was made possible by revised ownership guidelines (effective January 1, 2004) issued by SARFT (State Administration of Radio, Film and Television), MOFCOM (Ministry of Commerce) and MOC (Ministry of Culture), which lifted the previous ceilings on foreign investment in cinemas in seven cities in China as a pilot program. Shangying Warner Cinemas is WBIC’s third venue in China, joining WBIC’s Paradise Warner Cinema in Shanghai (as a minority partner with Shanghai Paradise Co.) and the Warner Wanda Cinema in Tianjin (opened under a management and licensing agreement with the Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd., calling for multiplexes to be built in 30 Dalian Wanda shopping centers throughout China over the next few years). WBIC is further awaiting government approval as a majority partner for a multiplex in Wuhan (also with Shanghai United) and has an agreement in principle with Guangzhou Performance Co. for multiplexes in Guangdong province (as a majority partner).
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