Exhibition industry veteranIan Riches has joined the UK's Curzon (Loughborough) leisure group as chiefexecutive officer.

Riches' appointment heraldsthe start of a major expansion push for the independent cinema chain. Having been acquired as a single site business byKC Suri, a property entrepreneur, in 2001 it now Presentlycomprisingcomprises of six locations around the United Kingdom. Tthe group will add a 5-plex in Crewe to itsportfolio during 2005 with a further three sites due to open in 2006. In addition a major refurbishment of theCurzon Loughborough, which will add a cafe-bar and upgrade its 6 screens, isplanned for 2005.

According to Riches, thegroup's philosophy is generally to target smaller towns that are considered toosmall by the larger circuits, either by way of new builds or strategicacquisitions of single or multiple sites, and to build and operate in ahands-on cost effective manner.

IanRiches was managing director of UCI UK & Ireland in the early 1990's beforeembarking on a career spent largely developing new markets in Asia and Europefor UCI, Village Cinemas and Loews Cineplex.Most recently, through his consulting company CinemaWorks, Riches hasbeen working on projects in China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

KC Suri, Chairman, comments: "Havingworked with Ian for some time as a consultant we are delighted that Ian has joined us asCEO: his wealth of experience in operating cinema chains and opening new siteswill be invaluable in the growth and development of our business."

"Thisappointment presents a great opportunity not only to re-establish my roots inthe UK but also to create a dynamic and successful independent chain" Richessays.

Suri and Riches are advisedby financial consultants Dawnay Day Corporate Finance. and property consultant Chris Morgan Giles.