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Industry web site Deadline Hollywood is reporting that National Amusements has come to an agreement with Rave Motion Pictures to sell it 35 movie theaters outside of National Amusement's core geographic area of the Northeast U.S.
If the advanced talks result in a deal, it would make Rave Motion Pictures the 5th largest exhibitor. The Dallas-based privately held theater circuit has 30 locations and 475 screens located in 14 states, and is now the biggest U.S. exhibition chain to have 100% state-of-the-art digital projection.
"NA has some wonderful theatre complexes and then it has some pretty mediocre theatre complexes. When the auction was going on nobody really wanted the mediocre complexes," one source told me today. "So if Rave is buying the mediocre complexes to ratchet up its digital cinema expansion, then its not a major transaction. On the other hand, if they are buying some meaningful complexes, then it’s a newsworthy transaction."
Click the Read link below to view the entire article on Deadline Hollywood's site.
There is speculation about exactly which theaters are involved, but the details should be announced in the next couple of weeks. One of the prime locations likely to be involved in the transaction is the The Bridge: cinema de lux in Los Angeles, California, which is a high-end concept that brings luxury amenities to the moviegoing experience. There are other cinema de lux locations that could be involved as well.
If it goes through, the transaction would move Rave Motion Pictures into the top 5 or 6 movie theater chains in the country. It currently has 31 locations in 14 states with almost 500 screens.
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I think this deal is probably for some of NA's best locations. Sumner Redstone took out a whopping $1.5 billion loan to pay his divorce settlement, and he put the entire chain up for sale, with the exception of 15 locations in the Northeast and its European theaters, when the loan came due. Because of the recession, there have been no takers up until now. The Bridge in LA is one of NA's crown jewels. I think Rave is cherry picking NA's best sites at bargain basement prices.
This is doubly sad for NA because Sumner has said he no longer believes in the exhibition business and is concentrating on owning content through his ownership of Viacom and CBS..
We found a reference for the locations affected by this sale, so they've been attached to this article.
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