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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cinema to Open in Ramstore Center

A family day at the mall often means Mother goes shopping while the kids romp at an indoor playground and Dad catches a movie.

That is a typical day out in the West.

Soon Muscovites will be able to take just such an excursion by dropping in at the wildly popular Ramstore shopping center on Sheremetyevskaya Ulitsa, officials said Wednesday.

A four-screen cinema is slated to be launched within the next few weeks on the third floor of the center. About the same time a children's playground will open beside the cinema, said officials at Turkish company Ramenka, which runs Ramstore.

Ramstore already offers a video arcade and a sprawling food court on the same floor.

"We will be a full-service, multifunctional trading complex," Ramenka general director Mustafa Saglam said. "We will have cinemas, fast food and sales."

The four-hall cinema will have 700 seats and will be operated by Karo, the company that runs the large Pushkin movie theater on Pushkin Square, said Anastasia Karmazina, director of marketing and PR at Ramenka.

It was unclear Wednesday when exactly the 1,200-square-meter theater would open. The cinema has been in the works ever since the Ramstore opened in August 1998.

A banner hung over the cinema entrance Wednesday stated that the grand opening would be April 1, while Karmazina said March 30.

However, Karo spokeswoman Tatyana Chernova said both dates could be wrong since her company is still working on logistics.

"It is too early to talk about the movie theater," she said.

She declined to give any details about the project - such as ticket prices and theater hours - saying information would probably be released at the end of next week.

Tickets to the Pushkin movie theater range from 60 rubles ($2.10) to 230 rubles, depending on the showing.

Currently, Ramstore is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

In the meantime, the children can go to the video arcade or to the new playground, which is expected to open in about 10 days, Karmazina said.

The 150-square-meter playground will include a space station and a jumping and sliding area, she said. Parents wanting to keep an eye on the kids can sip fruit juice at a vitamin bar in one corner.

Real estate experts hailed the expansion of the entertainment center at Ramstore as a step toward better retailing in Russia.

"It's a good idea," said Amanda Spring, managing partner at DTZ Moscow. "It's a common idea in the U.K. to have cinemas in shopping centers. I think it will work."

"I think it will be popular," said Natalya Osipova, a retail expert at Colliers HIB. "In big shopping centers there always is an entertainment area, so movies should be popular."

Ramenka said that despite its high hopes for the theater, it does not expect the number of customers stopping by the store to significantly increase.

"If the aim is to watch a movie, people will go to a regular cinema," Karmazina said.

Real estate experts disagreed, saying that if the Western experience was any example, the cinema will attract customers as well as tenants.

The opening of the movie theater would for the first time bring to reality the dream of several other Moscow businesses. Izvestia Publishing House, owned by the presidential administration, has for several years been trying to open a shopping center with a multiplex cinema in its site on the northeast corner of Pushkin Square. IKEA intends to offer a multi-screen theater in its Khimki complex as does the Garden Ring Shopping Center at Kursky Station.

Ramstore, meanwhile, is clearly placing its bets on the entertainment center's success and plans include a similarly sized theater and playground in a new Ramstore shopping center on Kashirskoye Shosse scheduled for completion in December.

The company is also in negotiations with several other cities over building similar shopping centers.

"If we get agreements, we will open in the regions," Karmazina said. "We are just now talking to some cities."