For the first time in its 20-year history, Finnkino Oy is launching movie screening operations in Espoo, following the leasing of a 3- screen cinema in the Iso Omena shopping mall. The cinema will transfer into Finnkino hands from 1.11.2006, and actual screenings will also get under way in the course of November.

Finnkino has cinemas in nine locations around Finland: Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Lahti, Oulu, Pori, and Rovaniemi.

"In line with our current strategy we are expanding operations into locations enjoying large customer flows and which are easy of access", reports Finnkino Managing Director Timo Mänty. Large shopping malls such as this are precisely the sort of locations Mänty is referring to. According to Timo Mänty, the objective in Espoo is to offer the cinema-going audience a diverse and high-quality repertoire and set of services.

Hitherto, Finnkino's only movie theatres in the Greater Helsinki area have been in the capital itself. At the beginning of 2006, the company signed an agreement for a new multiplex cinema to be built adjacent to the Jumbo shopping mall in Vantaa. This 6-screen cinema will open in 2008.

"We wanted a partner in the mall with whom we can develop the overall package of experiences offered to consumers", comments Jyrki Merjamaa, Head of Shopping Centre Management with Aberdeen Property Investors Finland Oy, the property investment and management company responsible for the running of Iso Omena.

Finnkino belongs to Rautakirja Corporation, which is part of the SanomaWSOY Group.