By Humphrey Carter
AMERICAN multiplex operator AMC announced yesterday that it intends to sell its 20-screen cinema complex at Festival Park in Marratxi.
The move will be the second major shake-up at the retail and entertainment park this year.
Five months ago, the retail complex was bought by the specialist Australian property management company APN Funds Management for an undisclosed sum.
However, APNFM has apparently invested some AS $350 million on the acquisition of six shopping centres in Europe this year and apparently has plans to invest in its new Majorcan venture. The commercial and retail centre, the first of its kind in the Balearics, was originally opened in the year 2000 at a cost of £50 million by a British consortium led by the millionaire Morgan brothers from Wales. Festival Park sources said yesterday that the AMC announcement is neither isolated to Majorca nor because business is in anyway disappointing.
It is part of the North American company's decision to sell its 148 European cinema screens in Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom and France.
In Spain, apart from the 20 screens at Festival Park, AMC operates four multi-complexes with 86 screens and is looking to raise between 18 and 25 million Euros from selling its Spanish and Portuguese interests. AMC, which often shows block-buster films in English or their original versions, is also selling its two multi-complexes in Birmingham and Manchester and one in France. According to financial experts in Spain, Warner could be one of the parties interested in buying AMC's Majorcan complex.
But, it appears that the cinema industry is suffering a slight crisis caused by the explosion in pirate DVD's, the digital revolution, the home entertainment boom and a drop off in cinema goers. But, the AMC complex is one of the most successful cinema complexes in Majorca and a possible Majorcan buyer has not been ruled out.

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