Malaysia's film distributor and exhibitor GSC is adding a second cinema outlet on the island of Penang with the launch of a $4.7m (RM18m) 12-screen multiplex on 11 December.

The new cinema is sited at Gurney Plaza shopping mall with more than 1,800 seats, making it the largest cinema in Penang as well as in northern Malaysia.

Like GSC's Mid Valley flagship outlet - the largest multiplex in Asia with 18 screens and 2,899 seats, the Penang cineplex features THX-certified cinema halls, a premier class with more comfortable seating, an international screen for foreign-language films and an AV facilitated cinema auditorium.

GSC is a joint venture between Hong Kong's Golden Harvest and Malaysia's Perlis Plantation Bhd. It operates the largest circuit of cinemas in Malaysia with a total of 74 screens in 15 locations, including Alor Star, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Johor Bahru, Kuantan, Kota Kinabalu, Malacca, Penang, and Seremban. The Penang cineplex will be its 16th.

Also in the offing is GSC's 17th cineplex project to be sited at Berjaya Times Square, the newly-opened mega shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur. The cineplex is scheduled to open in 2004 tentatively with 10 screens.