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Plitt, MCA Will Build 17-Screen Movie Complex

December 03, 1985|KATHRYN HARRIS | Times Staff Writer

MCA said Monday that it has found a new partner in Plitt Theatres for construction of an ambitious movie theater complex at Universal City, the entertainment conglomerate's 420-acre headquarters.

The project was first announced 14 months ago as an $8-million undertaking with Mann Theatres of California, but the two companies scrapped their joint venture in October.

The new plans call for a more lavish complex than initially envisioned by Mann. Instead of a 10- to 12-screen complex with 5,000 seats, Plitt will operate 17 screens with 5,600 seats. MCA and Plitt officials say it will be "the world's largest theater complex," with construction costs estimated at $10 million. The theaters are expected to open in June, 1987.

Plitt, the nation's fourth-largest motion picture theater chain, was acquired last month by a partnership headed by Cineplex Odeon Corp. of Toronto, which operates the successful 14-screen complex at the Beverly Center shopping complex, with 1,246 seats.

Garth Drabinsky, president and chief executive of both Cineplex and Plitt, said in a telephone interview that the Universal City complex will offer larger theaters and a broader range of films than the Beverly Center complex. "The smallest theater (with 225 seats) will be larger than the largest at Beverly Center," Drabinsky said, noting that the two largest theaters at the new Universal City complex will seat 800 each.

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