National Amusements has announced plans to build Russia's largest cinema, an 11-screen multiplex in Moscow, making it the first major international exhibitor to venture into the Russian market.

Called Kinostar, the new complex will be built and operated by Rising Star Media, a new joint venture set up by National Amusements and Paul Heth one of the founders of the Kodak Kino Mir, which was Russia's first Western style cinema.

Kinostar which is slated to open in spring 2003 is the first in a number of new multiplexes that Rising Star Media plans to build in Russia. It will be located in the MEGA retail centre, a major new shopping and amusement centre being built by Swedish furniture giant IKEA.

The 3,500-seat multiplex will show international first-run and Russian films as well as independent releases. It will offer stadium style seating, wall-to-wall screens and the latest in digital sound.

The new complex will the be second multiplex to open in Russia. The nine-screen Formula Kino, built and operated by Russian exhibitors KARO Film and Imperial Kino, opened in May. Russian distributor and exhibitor Paradise Film operates a five screen cinema in central Moscow that opened last year.