Grand Cinemas appoints CEO, unveils expansion phase

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Dec 14, 2013 11:27 AM EST

In an Arabian Business report, Gulf Film was said to have introduced the new chief executive officer of Grand Cinemas to help the latter accelerate its expansion plans in the Middle East. The largest film distribution company, which is parent to subsidiary Grand Cinemas, welcomed Debbie Stanford Kristiansen as new chief of the cinema chain for UAE.

At the same time, Grand Cinemas had launched its next stage in its regional expansion plans, starting with the addition of 66 new screens and three IMAX theater systems that will be unveiled next year. IMAX or Image Maximum is a motion picture format and cinema projection standards set, which makes showing of films in theaters with an increased visual impact.

Kristiansen said about Grand Cinema's expansion plans and her appointment, "These are exciting times for the cinema industry as theater concepts and technologies continue to advance around the world. Grand Cinemas has a long history of pioneering these advances in the region, and I look forward to leading the company into the next era of its ambitious expansion. To movie-goers, I renew our promise of the ultimate cinema experience with a comprehensive drive to bring the ultimate five-star service to patrons throughout the Middle East."

Prior to her new role, Kristiansen worked as sales vice president for Regent Exhibitions - IMEX Frankfurt and formerly headed the Bahrain Exhibition and Convention Authority and events@Bahrain.

Grand Cinemas was acquired in 2011 by Qatar Media Services as Gulf Film's newest addition to its portfolio. The cinema chain operates 101 screens across Jordan and the UAE.

Gulf Film managing director Jaber Al Ansari said, "We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Kristiansen as CEO of Grand Cinemas. In 2014, not only will we further expand our presence in the thriving UAE market, but will also extend our brand of premium film entertainment to new shores. We are confident that Ms Kristiansen will harness her expertise, drive and dedication to maximum impact at this pivotal time in the company's evolution."

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