Tallinn's two main movie theaters, Forum Cinemas and Solaris, may merge if the Competition Authority permits it.
Forum Cinemas, a subsidiary of Finland's Finnkino, announced today that it is planning to acquire Solaris from Solaris Property Partners and the two have signed an agreement pending a green light from regulators.
"Until today two cinemas in downtown Tallinn have actively competed over the same [customers], due to which the focus is mainly only on major box office hits. With 18 theaters instead of just the current 11 we can expand the film selection,” said Forum Cinemas director Kristjan Kongo.
The cost of movie tickets took a noticeable plunge when the Solaris cinema was opened in 2009. Earlier this month it was reported that both Solaris and Forum Cinemas raised prices on the same day, purportedly by coincidence. In comments to uudised.err.ee on Wednesday, Kongo pledged not to raise ticket prices.
In addition to cinemas in other cities, Forum Cinemas will open another Tallinn theater by the Song Festival Grounds in 2015.
Tallinn also has a few arthouse cinemas, Artis (located next to the Solaris cinema) and Sõprus. Several more movie theaters are due to crop up – at a shopping center by Tallinn Airport, and the Soviet-era Kosmos is due to be converted into the Baltics' first IMAX.
Kongo assured that if the sale goes through, Solaris would keep its name and continue to cater to mainstream customers. "We won't be turning Solaris into a theatre for serious cinema, for example," he was quoted by uudiser.err.ee as saying.