Cecchi Gori-owned theaters shuttered

Workers protest at Italy's top-grossing cinema

TAORMINA, Italy -- Beleaguered Italian film producer Vittorio Cecchi Gori received more bad news Monday when he learned that 11 cinemas he owns -- including Italy's most profitable cinema -- will be shuttered in connection with his ongoing financial troubles.

About 50 workers protested Monday outside Rome's Cinema Adriano, Italy's top-grossing cinema and the crown jewel of Cecchi Gori's cinema holdings.

The 66-year-old Cecchi Gori was apprehended by police this month and held in Rome's Regina Coeli Minimum Security Prison on charges of financial insolvency related to about 25 million euros ($38.7 million) in debt. It was the third bankruptcy of a Cecchi Gori holding since the failure of the Fiorentina soccer club he owned in 2002.

On Thursday, Cecchi Gori struck back, filing a 50 million euro ($77.4 million) lawsuit against soccer's organizing bodies in relation to the case of Fiorentina, his second major lawsuit since March.

Despite his financial troubles, Cecchi Gori remains best known for producing three films that have won a total of five Oscars, including three-time Oscar winner "La Vita e Bella" (Life Is Beautiful).
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