4 Emblematic Sofia Cinemas Become Shopping Centers

Properties | December 16, 2010, Thursday // 08:25|  views

Billa, which is owned by German concern REWE Group, recently opened its latest outlet in Sofia in the emblematic movie theater "Iztok" building. Photo by BGNES

Four of some of the most popular former movie theaters in Bulgaria's capital Sofia are going to become shopping malls or supermarkets, the Bulgarian daily "24 Chasa" (24 Hours) writes.

The properties were owned by the fund TBIL (Trans Balkan Investment Limited – formerly Equest), which recently sold them to other investors.

One of them - the emblematic building of the "Iztok" (East) movie theater, on the Sofia main thoroughfare "Tsarigradsko Shosse," across from the "Pliska" hotel, which has been closed for years and had deteriorated badly, is now remodeled and turned into a supermarket.

The building was purchased for EUR 1.43 M about six months ago by the supermarket chain Billa, owned by German concern REWE Group.

The "Serdika" movie theater building also changed owners last year and now belongs to the company "Agriway Holding" of Vasil Zlatev, father of the CEO of "Lukoil Bulgaria," Valentin Zlatev, who planned to turn it to a shopping mall and office center. The project, however, remains frozen.

Recently, TBIL announced, through the information site of the London Stock Exchange where its shares are traded, that there is a contract for the sale of the "Evropa Palace" movie theater in downtown Sofia for EUR 1.5 M. The plan here is again to have a mini-mall with coffee shops and bars.

There is also a preliminary contract for the "Urvich" cinema, but the price is unknown.

"24 Chasa" cite own sources saying the buyer of the last two is the same company, which is constructing a shopping mall on "Cherni Vrah" boulevard, and belongs to Russian and Bulgarian businesses.

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Tags: Billa, Equest, movie theater, Iztok, TBIL, Trans Balkan Investment Limited, Vasil Zlatev, Agriway Holding, Serdika, Urvich, Valentin Zlatev, Lukoil Bulgaria


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