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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pushkin Cinema Heads for Revamp

MTThe Pushkin cinema, which has recently been purchased by Karo, may be converted into a state-of-the-art multiplex.
The city's most famous cinema looks set to be transformed into a multiscreen entertainment complex after it was bought outright by Karo, the holding company for the Karo Films cinema chain, late December.

The company is considering a number of different options for the redevelopment of the site, including adding cafes, restaurants and bars to the complex, or more screens, Karo Film managing director Igor Ilchuk told Vedomosti on Wednesday.

"In my opinion, the most expedient option is to turn it into a multiscreen complex," Ilchuk said.

He did not rule out the possibility that the Pushkin cinema could be shut down for renovation as early as this year. The Karo Film press office said talks on the future of the theatre were ongoing.

In the long-expected deal, worth 767 million rubles ($29 million), Karo, which already owned one-third of the 7,263 square-meter site, bought the remaining floor space from the city administration.

Karo, which has run the Pushkin cinema through Karo Film since 1997, managed to beat off competitor Kinomir by offering 1 million rubles ($38,000) over the starting price in a public tender at the end of December.

The Pushkin cinema is the iconic venue for many of the country's most prestigious film awards, including the Moscow International Film Festival.

Karo is the holding company for an array of business interests, including Karo Film, Karo Rental and the advertising agency, Kino Media.

Karo Films runs 77 cinemas throughout western Russian, including 13 in Moscow. In 2000 the company opened Russia's first multiplex at the Ramstore.

The expected redevelopment of the cinema coincides with plans put forward last year to build a 96,000-square-meter underground shopping mall under Pushkin Square and a traffic tunnel linking Tverskoi Bulvar and Strasnoi Bulvar.

City planners, however, have previously insisted that the developments would not affect the above-ground layout of the square.