Multiplex Operation Romania, a subsidiary of Andy Vajna-controlled Intercom Corp, is planning to open Romania's first multiplex theatre on May 29.

Intercom has invested $5.5m in the ten-screen, 2,340-seat theatre, built in the Bucharest Mall on Alea Vitar. Tickets are likely to cost about 45,000 Romanian lei ($2.50).

"We have great expectations," said Intercom's Hungarian director Andras Kalman. "We believe the ticket prices are not too high and, as a result, Romanian admissions will see a significant increase".

Kalman added that Intercom also hopes to enter the distribution arena in Romania in competition with the country's sole existing distributor Romanian Film: "Regulation of the cinema sector and taxation must be changed soon along with Romanian Film's monopoly,' said Kalman. "We hope this process will speed up due to the presence of a new company and the first multiplex theatre. The relationship between film distribution and the Romanian press must also be bettered."

Intercom is already working on the second stage of its ambitious Romanian exhibition plans which include a second multiplex in the eastern part of Bucharest to be followed by another seven theatres in Arad, Oradea, Timisoara, Constanta, Ploiesti, Pitesti and Brasov. The company plans to open all eight theatres by 2003.