Cinemark opens Mexican theaters in deal with Carrefour

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MEXICO CITY--International cinemachain Cinemark has unveiled its first movietheater developed in conjunction with Carrefour and two more are set to open this monthin Mexico.

The three new theaters offer all-stadiumseating. The Dallas-based exhibitor hadstruck a real estate deal with the Frenchhypermarket retailer to develop sites jointlyand now the first of those projects are comingto fruition.

"It gives us security knowing the othertenant (at the sites)," says Director of International Marketing Diane Feffer. And theside-by-side locations raise consumer awareness of both chains. "Carrefour brings consistent traffic every day and Cinemark generates night business," she says.

An eight-screen theater opened next to anew Carrefour store on November 20 in MexicoCity's Col. Polanco, an upscale residentialand business/hotel district that is also popular with expatriates. Cinemark already operates three other theaters in the capital.

Cinemark opened on December 11 a sevenscreen complex in the central Mexican cityof Queretaro. A nine-screen complex in thenorthern city of Hermosillo opens on December 18.

Those theaters are the second Cinemark complexes in those cities. However, "in bothcases they are located far apart so therewon't be cannibalization," Ms. Feffer says.With the Polanco theater, Cinemark now has161 screens throughout Mexico. It is alsoplanning a six-screen stadium theater forthe resort city of Cancun, scheduled to openMarch 1999.

Cinemark has been working with PublicidadFerrer on a print campaign to publicize thetheater openings. The chain has worked verylittle with ad agencies here in the past."Our objective is to keep Cinemark on thetop of mind of consumers," Ms. Feffer says.

Since Cinemark entered the Mexican marketin the early 1990s, it has seen its competition increase from rival chains Cinemex,a new Mexican multiplex chain that is currently focusing on the Mexico City market,and Organizaciones Ramirez, the largest andoldest cinema operator in Mexico.

Ramirez has developed its own multiplexformat, which it is using for all new theaters while converting its older theaters.

Cinemark also runs theaters in Brazil,Chile, Costa Rica, Argentina, Ecuador, ElSalvador and Peru.

Copyright December 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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