The sky's the limit for Orange Sky-Golden Harvest

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Announced in early December and lost in the holiday rush of news was the opening of four new multiplexes by Orange Sky–Golden Harvest Entertainment (OSGH), two in Hong Kong, one on the Mainland and one in Taipei, Taiwan, for a total of 27 screens. The Hong Kong big board-listed company now has 28 theatres with 223 screens across Asia.

The new GH CityWalk in Hong Kong is that city’s first fully digital cinema, with five digital screens including two equipped for 3D. Meanwhile, the other Hong Kong theatre, the GH Whampoa, has two 3D screens in four theatres.

The nine-screen GH Suzhou InCity Plaza Multiplex is also fully digital and is the largest modern multiplex in Suzhou and Jiangsu Province. One of the nine screens is China’s largest 3D screen, with 442 seats.

OSGH’s new VieShow Cinemas Taipei Q Square has nine screens. The circuit has eight locations in Taiwan.

“OSGH will operate 600 screens across Asia in three years based on contracts already signed and in process,” said Kebo Wu, CEO of OSGH. “Our new cinemas are mainly located in the PRC including Guangzhou, Chengdu, Wuxi, Nanjing and Beijing.”

In a separate statement, the company announced that Warner Bros. Pictures International and Paramount Pictures International will supply digital feature films directly to DCI-compliant digital projection systems installed by OSGH’s cinemas in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The studios will also make financial contributions towards the group’s recoupment of the equipment costs involved.

The OSGH Group also has a film production and financing business, which it plans on strengthening. The company plans to extend to other forms of entertainment and media-related businesses across different media platforms.

Sampling Movie Snacks Across Asia
I've become obsessed with movie concession food.

Ever since my taste-testing at Big Cinemas in Mumbai at Christmastime, followed by a recent survey of unusual foods sold in movie theatres in several Asian cities, all l want to do is visit the movies and eat!

And now, for your enjoyment, some more information on concession foods from around Asia:

In Korea, the most popular concession item is chestnuts. Yes, you heard right, the same kind that you sing about "roasting on an open fire." Here they are roasted, dried, and put in a foil pack—and they’re much healthier than a bag of M&Ms (and just as tasty too).

On the border with Asia, small trucks outside movie theatres in Lithuania sell a fermented drink called Kavas. Made from stale black or rye bread, the concoction is flavored with mint, berries or raisins. It may not sound appetizing, but a few glasses of Kavas will allow any man to enjoy a "chick flick."

I wrote of Mumbai's "Movie Munchies" last month, but a remnant of British colonial days still found at some theatres is cheese and chutney sandwiches. A more localized version is dosas, thin savory pancakes rolled with split peas or potatoes (or some other mixture) which are of course very spicy.

In Japan, dried octopus baked in soy and sugar makes for a crunchy, chewy, sweet snack—quite good with a beer or soft drink. The snack comes in several different flavors.

Thailand has mostly traditional movie snacks, but SF Cinema First Class Theatres give you an "all you can eat" tapas buffet before and popcorn and a soft drink during your movie. Cost for food and a movie is approximately US$17—a bargain in any country.

Hong Kong's new iSQUARE concession counter sells curry chicken and ham and cheese burritos as well as Johnsonville (an American brand) turkey sausages.

All this talk of food makes me hungry. Gotta go to the movies and eat!

Malaysian Digital Archive Debuts
The National Audiovisual Documentation and Preservation Centre of the National Archives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, opened in late December, providing digital archival storage of audiovisual material, computer records, pictures and microfilm. National Archives director-general Sidek Jamil said this would enable more pertinent material to be stored and preserved professionally.

“At the outset, the Center, which is equipped with an automatic temperature control system, will store material acquired between 1968 and 2001," Jamil told reporters.

Costing around $8 million, the four-story building will store 7,445 rolls of 8mm-65mm films, 4,061 video, VHS, S-VHS and Beta U-matic discs, 2,777 albums, 3,440 recording tapes and cassettes, 3,401 posters, and 99,313 pictures.

Sidek said the digital archives will also preserve feature films and documentaries produced by private filmmakers like that of film centers in Vietnam and Thailand.

Contact Scott Rosenberg with relevant news stories at prdivision@gmail.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at scott_cos.