Toho is joining forces with another Japanese major, Toei, to build a cinema complex in Shinjuku - a major Tokyo entertainment district.

The move follows Toho's acquisition of Virgin Cinemas Japan for $83m earlier this year.

The partners plan to construct the new complex in a commercial tower that Toei is building as part of a six-company consortium.

Construction will start in November 2006, making the eight-screen 1,900 seat site the second largest in central Tokyo after Toho's nine-screen Virgin Cinema in Roppongi.

The Roppongi Hills complex is part of a new complex of restaurants and shops that has been drawing nearly a million visitors each weekend since its April 2002 opening - a major achievement given the relatively low frequency of Japanese cinema-going (about 1.3 times per person a year).

The new Shinjuku cinema will be managed by a new company operated by Toho and subsidiary T-Joy, with T-Joy holding a majority 55% stake. Toho and Toei will jointly programme the cinema with films from their own line-ups.

The Japanese multiplex building boom of the 1990s has since slowed considerably, but observers estimate the addition of 300 or so screens to the current 2,700 before construction levels off.