German exhibitors CinemaxX, UFA Theater and Kieft & Kieft Filmtheater are joining forces to launch what they claim will be Germany's first nationwide on-line ticketing service.

The service will allow customers to use the internet to make reservations and pay for tickets at the three circuits' combined 1,000 theatres across Germany. The partners also said they are seeking technology, finance and media companies to join the venture.

Many German distributors and exhibitors have shown interest in entering the on-line ticketing market, but have faced both technological and political stumbling blocks. The three companies which dominate Germany's existing off-line ticketing technology have not been eager to allow outsiders access to their computerised systems

As a result of a complex deal struck in April, Hamburg-based CinemaxX is part-owned by German distributor Senator and Belgium exhibitor Kinepolis and has operational control of Ufa Theater.