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Savvy Plan Behind New Dunedin Reading Cinema

RDI - Savvy Plan Behind New Reading Cinema Replacing Hoyt's Dunedin Movie Theater

A completely refurbished six-screen Reading Cinema in Dunedin presents a savvy story in the New Zealand movie theater competitive landscape not fully appreciated by the media.

In 2007, Reading International (NASDAQ: RDI), which owns the Reading Cinema theater chain, among several others, stealthily purchased the real estate underlying Hoyts’ Octagon theater in Dunedin, New Zealand and secretly became Hoyt’s landlord. Reading International's real estate segment collected rents from Hoyts for seven years until the 20-year lease expired.

As the lease's expiration approached, Reading was in the favorable position to demand substantially higher rents from its competitor or, alternatively, take over possession of the theater and open a new Reading Cinema. Hoyt’s opted to close the theater and perform the required work to return the building to its original state - including taking out seats and other equipment.

All this paved the way for Reading’s new AUS$5.5MM six-screen cineplex that just reopened, July 25.

Reading’s six-cinema complex seats 750 people, about 30% fewer seats than when Hoyts occupied the building. In this more comfortable roomier setting, two of the six auditoriums have been upgraded to premium ''dine-in'' cinemas with plush “wide-body” seats with two drink holders and a swivel table. A new kitchen, offering freshly cooked foods, was built behind the ticket counter.

Otago Daily Times
July 25, 2014
Emphasis on space, comfort as cinema opens

Otago Daily Times
July 20, 2013
Hoyts to close Octagon cinema

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