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Carmike spends $19 million to buy 16 rival Rave theaters

Carmike Cinemas Inc. is in the midst of finalizing a deal to acquire 16 theaters – including one in Fort Wayne – from Rave Reviews Cinemas LLC for $19 million in cash, officials said.

The deal, announced Monday, is part of Carmike’s push to expand through acquisitions. The Columbus, Ga.-based company expects to close on the transaction by year’s end.

The Fort Wayne Rave and one in Plainfield are among the movie houses to be acquired. Others are in Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. About 40 percent have 3-D-capable screens and seven include large IMAX screens. The Fort Wayne Rave has both 3-D and IMAX screens.

Rave opened in 2001 at Jefferson Pointe Shopping Center. Carmike 20, 3930 E. Dupont Road, opened its doors in 2005. Ticket prices vary at Carmike and Rave. For example, matinees between 4 and 5:30 p.m. are $5.50 for general admission at Carmike. Earlier shows are $7.25. Matinee movies before 6 p.m. at Rave are $7 for general admission. At Carmike and Rave, children 3 and under are free.

The deal with Dallas-based Rave also includes about $100.4 million in assumed lease obligations, officials said. Carmike said it will continue to employ the Rave workers at the theaters it bought.

These are really quality assets,” Robert Rinderman, a Carmike spokesman, said Monday. “The intent is to re-brand them as Carmike theaters. Obviously, though, the deal is not closed yet. This is our first foray into IMAX, so it’s exciting.”

Carmike shares closed at $12.08, up 80 cents on the Nasdaq at the end of trading on Monday. The stock has traded between $5.18 and $15.80 over the past 52 weeks.

As of June 30, Carmike owned 233 theaters in 35 states. Rave Cinemas owns or manages 62 theaters and 939 screens in 21 states.

David Passman, president and CEO of Carmike Cinemas, said he is pleased.

“The addition of these 16 state-of-the-art theatres and 251 screens from Rave is a key, opportunistic development for Carmike,” he said in a statement. “The average age of the properties we are acquiring is only 8 years so we expect limited maintenance (expenses) over the near-term.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.