National Amusements theaters have a buyer

Rave Cinemas has purchased 29 theaters

Sumner Redstone finally has a deal for some of his movie theaters.

Fledgling exhibitor Rave Cinemas of Dallas said Monday that it completed the purchase of 29 theaters operated in various U.S. markets by Redstone's National Amusements and aims to close on up to a half-dozen additional theater purchases by early 2010.

Rave also will continue to manage Mann Theatres' Beverly Center multiplex in West Hollywood. Backed by a consortium of private equity firms, Rave announced a restructuring of its holdings and rebranding from its previous corporate moniker Rave Motion Pictures, whose 21 theaters will be folded into the new entity.

Rave bought National theaters in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio. Company reps refused to discuss details of the purchase until all pending deals are concluded.

It was unclear whether National's deluxe Bridge Cinema location in West Los Angeles is part of the deal. But a Bridge multiplex in Philadelphia has been acquired.

National is concentrated largely in the Northeast U.S. and also has operated theaters in other parts of the country and overseas.

National put a big chunk of its circuit up for sale several months ago. The move was prompted by a cash crunch at Redstone's Viacom, which is a publicly traded National subsidiary.

The Rave transactions are being funded by a consortium of private equity firms led by TowerBrook Co. Additional investors include Lambert Media, and AGM Partners provided consulting services.

"It has been a great pleasure to work with our founding partner, Boston Ventures, to build the Rave Motion Pictures brand into what it is today," Rave chief Thomas Stephenson said.
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