Anchor Bay UK is to take the plunge into British theatricaldistribution. The DVD company, which has built its reputation on the back ofits restorations of classic and cult pictures, has three titles already slatedfor release in British cinemas later this year.

The Manson Family is out on July 23rd in London.Don Coscarelli's comedy-horror picture Bubba Ho-Tep (billed as the"king of rock vs. the king of the dead") and Tobe Hooper's ToolboxMurders, will both receive 25 print nationwide releases in the autumn.

Anchor Bay is also lining up UK play dates for Aussie zombiefeature, Undead, and for Sheldon Wilson's grisly yarn, ShallowGround.
At a time when many UK independent distributors have become reliant on theirvideo and DVD operations to keep them solvent, it is unusual to see a DVDspecialist like Anchor Bay moving the other way and turning to theatrical. ForAnchor Bay's CEO, Mo Claridge, acquiring new titles for cinema release was thenatural way to grow the company.
"It was clear that we had to keep expanding and the natural source ofproduct was theatrical," Claridge said of the new strategy."Theatrical offers Anchor Bay the opportunity to exploit new pictures withthe knowledge we have of the rental and retail DVD & video market toexploit after we have launched theatrically."
Anchor Bay, which has recently released De Luxe editions of Werner Herzog andRoman Polanski classics on DVD, will be "sticking to predominantlyhorror" for its theatrical acquisitions. "The horror genre is aformula that works," Claridge commented.