Columbia Pictures Entertainment, the company recently formed...

Columbia Pictures Entertainment, the company recently formed to combine Tri-Star Pictures and Coca-Cola's entertainment holdings, has entered negotiations to buy USA Cinemas--a movie-theater chain headquartered in Boston--for $160 million to $170 million, industry sources said. The theater chain, which had 307 screens through September, is the 11th largest in the nation and has a near-monopoly on first-run theaters in Boston. Tri-Star already owns Loews Theatres, the nation's 12th-largest chain, which has a strong presence in New York. USA Cinemas is owned by Boston Ventures Management Inc., a venture capital fund.

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