Withthe robust growth in cinema attendance, Singapore-based exhibitor CathayCineplexes is beefing up its presence in Malaysia with plans to add 13 newcinema screens across the straits.

A 10-screenmultiplex with over 2,000 seats will be sited at Cineleisure Damansara, anentertainment complex in Kuala Lumpur similar in concept to Cathay's Singaporeflagship nine-screen Cineplex.

Another threescreens with over 900 seats will be built in Kota Kinabalu, capital of theSabah state in East Malaysia. The Kuala Lumpur multiplex is due to open in June2005 while the one in Kota Kinabalu is planned for this December.

SuhaimiRafdi, vice president for leisure and entertainment, said that Malaysia cancomfortably accommodate more cinema screens as movie-going continues to be afavourite pastime. When the two new cineplexes are completed, Cathay will havea total of 28 screens in Malaysia, exceeding its 16 screens in Singapore.

Meanwhile,an $6.7m (RM25m) IMAX theatre, featuring the world's third largest screen, willbe opened in Malaysia this October. The 68 feet high by 95 feet wide screen hasbeen installed during a screen raising ceremony presented by Don Savant,general manager of IMAX Asia Pacific.

The2-D format Everest and 3-D Into The Deep will be screened when thetheatre opens, followed by a day-and-date release of Robert Zemeckis' Polar Express, the first major Hollywoodrelease in 3-D format.