A further management shake-up at Village Cinemas International (VCI) has taken place with the announcement that Loews Cineplex International (LCI) has appointed Ian Riches as senior vice president, commencing May 1.
Riches, formerly regional director - Europe for VCI based in the London office, will initially be working in Rome, focusing on the development and expansion of LCI's Italian and Turkish operations. Prior to Village Cinemas, Riches worked for United Cinemas International (UCI) as managing director for UCI UK/Ireland and president of UCI Japan.
The announcement follows Village's revelation earlier this year that it plans to launch its own branded chain of cinemas in the UK, outside of its current joint venture with Warner Bros International Theatres. Two Australian executives have since relocated to the London office. George Livery has been promoted from managing director of Village Cinemas Australia to general manager of Village Cinemas International (VCI), where his main focus will be European cinema investments. Ross Entwistle will remain director of film buying and programming for VCI, but take on extra responsibility for strategic planning and resource management.
Loews Cineplex International, headed by Ted Shugrue in New York, is aggressively expanding its European multiplex circuit and most recently announced plans in Poland to spearhead its development into Eastern Europe. A 12-screen multiplex in Warsaw and a 12-screen site Krakow are due for completion by early 2001. Loews already operates a six-screen theatre in Budapest, Hungary and is planning an additional 10-screen theatre at the Baross Trade Centre to open in 2001. Elsewhere in Europe, LCI has joint ventures in Spain - Yelmo Cineplex, in Italy - De Laurentiis Cineplex and in Turkey - Odeon Cineplex.