The first joint venture film screening company set up by Warner Bros Theaters International was launched in Shanghai, China's biggest city, on Saturday.
The joint venture, Shanghai Paradise Warner Cinema City Co, was described by insiders as the beginning of Warner's investment in the Chinese film screening sector.
Shanghai Paradise Co, which owns 51 percent of the shares of the joint venture, formed the joint venture in cooperation with the American company, while Warner Bros. Theaters International owns 49 percent of the shares.
The joint venture has a total investment of 28 million yuan (US$3.4 million).
Ellen R. Eliasoph of Warner Bros Theaters International, who is in charge of the company's China business, said Warner is beginning to open up film distribution channels, producing films and investing in screening outlets in China.
Located in downtown Shanghai, the cinema city has nine halls with 1,398 seats.
Shanghai Paradise Co is an important player on the Chinese film market as it controls 57 cinemas and 126 screens, about 75 percent of the total in Shanghai. Its box office accounts for 80 percent of the total in Shanghai.
Shanghai Film Group Corp, the biggest film company in Shanghai, has a controlling share of the Shanghai Paradise Co.
Zhu Yongde, board chairman of the group company, said they are negotiating with Warner on a package of cooperation.
(Xinhua News Agency July 13, 2003)