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Mexico's Cinepolis Theater Chain to Go 100% Digital

Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas
Lobby at Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas in Southern California

The transition for the family-owned chain of more than 2,800 theaters will require a hefty investment.

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican exhibitor Cinepolis, the world's fourth largest theater circuit, is investing more than $300 million to digitize its entire chain by 2013.

Family-owned Cinepolis owns 2,800-plus screens in Latin America and India, and it recently cracked the U.S. market with two luxury cinema complexes in Southern California. So far Cinepolis has converted 61% of its theaters to digital in Mexico, where it operates more than 2,400 screens.

The theater chain's goal is to become the first exhibitor in Latin America to go 100% digital. An advantage in doing so, Cinepolis says, is that in addition to state-of-the-art film screenings it can also project alternative content such as live and pre-recorded concerts and sporting events.

Cinepolis dominates in Mexico with a 62% market share in box office revenue. In recent years the Mexican exhibitor has shown growing interest in India, where it has launched 32 screens and has plans to build more.  

According to reports last month, Cinepolis is in talks to acquire a stake in India's leading theater chain, Reliance MediaWorks-owned Big Cinemas.