United Cinemas International (UCI) today unveiled its "next generation" brand strategy to differentiate its cinemas from other exhibitors in the highly competitive UK market.

"thefilmworks" concept, created through a three-way partnership with UCI, advertising agency BDHTBWA and architects RTKL, will be rolled out first at the group's 20 screen Printworks multiplex in Manchester which opens this November.

Besides the new logo, the concept includes the highest quality state-of-the-art features, such as black box auditoria and stadium seating. thefilmworks cinemas will also have one or more Gallery screens representing the first class section of the cinema where tickets are expected to be priced at $22 (£15).

"As more and more multiplexes open and potential guests have a choice of at least two equidistant cinemas, both offering the same selection of films and basic facilities, people will start looking for other motivating factors in the decision making process," said Dave Harris, vp and general manager of UCI UK and Ireland.

"We want to use a brand and contemporary concept to redefine cinema - rather than location and the traditional concept as our research has found in the past. The lead value of the new brand is evolution and thefilmworks must always set new standards, both in technology and design," Harris said.

UCI, a 50:50 joint venture between Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios, toyed with the idea of a name change some 12 months ago. This new branding, however, only applies to future UCI openings including Printworks, Manchester this year and Greenwich, Greater London, next year.

UCI is one of the largest international exhibitors operating 104 cinemas in 10 territories including the UK. Turnover is reported at $500m per year driven from 65 million admissions. To date this year, UCI has a 22.2% share of the UK market.