Indonesia’s Lippo Group has announced plans to invest $516m (6 trillion rupiahs) in 300 multiplexes across the country over the next ten years.
The first cinema to open under Lippo’s Cinemaxx brand will be a 15-screen complex in the Palembang Icon shopping centre, in Palembang, South Sumatra, in September this year.
“Palembang Icon is the first location ready to operate a cineplex and the market there is huge,” Cinemaxx head of marketing Infany Suryadji told local paper the Jakarta Globe.
Infany said the company would also open multiplexes in Manado (North Sulawesi), Medan (North Sumatra), Ponorogo (East Java) and Jakarta throughout the rest of the year. Lippo aims to have 2,000 screens operating across 85 cities within ten years.
Indonesia remains severely under screened with only around 800 screens for a population of 253 million people. The country only had one major exhibitor, Cinema 21 Group, for many years, although a competitor, Blitzmegaplex, entered the market in 2006.
Blitzmegaplex is also set for expansion after parent company PT Graha Layar Prima launched an IPO on the Jakarta stock exchange and brought in Korean exhibition giant CJ CGV as a shareholder.
Lippo Group is well placed to grow in exhibition, as the conglomerate owns shopping malls, which need multiplexes as anchor tenants, and has the deep pockets and political connections necessary to build out a cinema circuit.