Adlabs makes foray into U.S. territory

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MUMBAI -- Adlabs Films has finalized the acquisition of 240 screens across 28 U.S. cities, executives said Tuesday on the sidelines of the FICCI Frames media conference.

"We have acquired these screens that largely have the potential to cater to South Asian and other audiences in the U.S.," Adlabs Films COO digital cinema Patrick von Sychowski said. "Some of these screens were acquired from the likes of Regal and Landmark, among others."

While financial details were not given, Mumbai-based Adlabs -- which operates more than 100 screens in India -- has partnered with Knoxville, Tenn.-based Phoenix Theatres for its expansion.

"We are working with Adlabs to manage the majority of their U.S. acquisitions," said Phil Zacheretti, CEO of 7-year-old regional theater operator Phoenix, which now has eight properties from Washington to Florida and Kansas.

Zacheretti, a former executive with Knoxville-based Regal Cinemas, said that Adlabs has made an investment in privately held Phoenix and that he is excited about the prospect of working with his new partners. "We will help them to bring a wider variety of films to a broad audience from New York to California," Zacheretti said.

Given that there are about 40-odd screens that regularly screen Indian films in the U.S., the Adlabs foray could expand the market.

"We see this expansion as an important step in reaching out to an untapped market which could be offered films from India and other territories," von Sychowski said.

More details of Adlabs' U.S. plans are expected in April along with plans to expand into countries neighboring India.

Jonathan Landreth in New York contributed to this report.
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