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UGC is the second largest cinema operator in Europe with, as of August 2005, 49 sites and 553 screens across four countries: ⁕France: 37 cinemas, 357 screens ⁕Spain: 5 cinemas, 88 screens ⁕Belgium: 3 cinemas, 43 screens ⁕Italy: 4 cinemas, 66 screens In 2002 the company sold 64 million tickets. UGC was originally an exclusively French operator, created in 1971 from a merger of several regional cinema companies. The name originally stood for Union Générale Cinématographique, but today only the initials are used. The company is focused on the business side of the film business, showing little interest in the screening of artistic cinema, except in Paris where the programming is very diversified and always in subtitled versions, on the contrary to Pathé and Gaumont cinemas. Out of Paris, in some cities like Nantes or Lyon, a part of this diversified programming does exist, but mostly UGC cinemas are like Pathé and Gaumont cinemas. Its competitors include EuroPalaces, Cinéville, CGR, MK2 and Kinepolis Group.
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