Warner Bros International Cinemas (WBIC) continued to increase itsstake in the Chinese exhibition sector with the announcement yesterday (Oct 12)that it and Guangzhou Jin Yi Film and Television Investment Co have agreed toform a joint venture company to build a multiplex theatre in Beijing with WBICserving as the majority partner.

New Gateway, a seven-screen, 1,100-seat theatre, is scheduled toopen in September 2005. WBIC will manage construction and operation of themultiplex.

"New Gateway is an important step in our ongoing plan to bringstate-of-the-art cinemas to Chinese moviegoers," WBIC president Millard Ochssaid in a statement.

"We believe that by building modern theatres across China, we'renot only serving the audience, but really helping the entire Chinese filmindustry by fuelling the appetite for an excellent movie going experience."

WBIC signed a joint venture with Gaungzhou Jin Yi Film andTelevision in July to construct six multiplex theatres in Guangdong province.

In addition tothe Guangzhou joint ventures, WBIC's other Chinese sites include the ShangyingWarner Cinemas, which opened in April 2004; the Paradise Warner Cinema inShanghai (as a minority partner with Shanghai Paradise Co); and the WarnerWanda Cinemas in Tianjin and Nanning, which opened under a management andlicensing agreement with the Dalian Wanda Group Co.