India-based Pyramid Saimira Theatre Ltd. runs some 44 multiplexes -- with 703 screens, you do the math -- in Malaysia, Singapore and, sure, India. It also has some theaters in North America, operating as Pyramid Saimira Entertainment America, Inc., and today comes word that the exhibition titan now owns a Richardson-based company. This morning, Pyramid Saimira announced that it bought FunAsiA, whose theaters screen Bollywood offerings in Richardson, Irving and Houston. (The Richardson theater's at E. Belt Line Road and S. Plano Road, across from Richardson; the Irving location is West Airport Freeway and N. MacArthur Boulevard.)
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Pyramid Saimira isn't saying how much it paid for FunAsiA, which, notes the release, screens its offerings in Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Kannada and Urdu. (I went to the Richardson theater a couple of times for a story years ago, and it's less a moviegoing experience than a trip halfway 'round the world; in short, best concession-stand food ever.) But the acquisition means two things: Pyramid's managing director says his company has "an aggressive time frame for bringing the FunAsiA name and entertainment concept to major U.S. and Canadian cities,” and the existing Texas theaters "will be retrofitted with completely digital screening equipment." Now if only the company would buy the Cinemark 17 at Webb Chapel Road and LBJ Freeway, where movies are usually out-of-focus and screened in mono. --Robert Wilonsky