Norway's largest exhibitor Oslo Cinemas, which is soon to be opened up to private investors, is planning to build a 10 to 20 screen multiplex in the centre of Oslo, to be ready in 2005.

The company is also looking for sites to build a 4-screen cinema in the eastern area of Grunerlokka, Oslo's equivalent to London's Soho. The plans have yet to be approved by either the Oslo City Council, which owns Oslo Cinemas, or the Norwegian government.

The Council decided to sell a 49% stake in Oslo Cinemas earlier this year, following the introduction of legislation that allows Norwegian production and distribution entities to invest in exhibition for the first time. Oslo Cinemas operates 11 cinemas with 31 screens and attracted 3 million visitors last year. It controls about 30% of Norway's cinema market.

Several Scandinavian exhibitors including Bonnier-owned SF Kino and Egmont-owned Nordisk Film Biografer, which have already established multiplexes elsewhere in the country, and Schibsted-owned Sandrew-Metronome, have announced plans to build cinemas in the Norwegian capital, without any concrete results so far.

SF Kino is still waiting for a greenlight for its proposed 7-screen multiplex at Ullevaal Stadion in the western outskirts of the capital. The approval of the project has been postponed for a year.