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KNOXVILLE, TN-Regal Cinemas is continuing its strategic plan of closing outmoded and underperforming theaters even as box office continues to rebound and new technologies are being explored, executives said during its second quarter conference call.

Regal, the largest motion picture exhibitor in the world, will shutter 28 theaters with a total of 225 screens, while opening nine theaters with 135 screens in fiscal 2006. Regal operates 6,383 in 542 theaters across the United States.

“Clearly, our long-term strategy is to close theaters that are at the end of their lease term or are underperforming,” said Michael Campbell, chairman and CEO of Regal Entertainment Corp. “This is a somewhat fluid process, but we do continue to look for opportunities.”

Closures are not regionally driven, nor are they being compelled by a drop in revenues or attendance, he added. Regal’s total revenue for the quarter ended June 29, 2006, was $684.6 million, a 6.5% increase from total revenue of $643.1 million for the second fiscal quarter of 2005. Net income was $16.6 million in the second quarter of 2006, compared to net income of $26.4 million in the same period of 2005.

Regal’s performance is in line with the industry as a whole, Campbell added, with 10 of the 13 weeks in the quarter reporting industrywide revenue increases. Seven films released in the quarter topped $100 million in ticket sales, with two topping $200 million, compared with five hitting the $100 million market and only one pulling in $200 million in 2005. One film, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” will easily earn $400 million, Campbell said.

Looking to future growth, Regal remains committed to rolling out digital and 3D projection technology, and is testing various systems.

“We won’t roll out digital until all the bugs are worked out,” Campbell said.

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