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Loews trying to sell its movie theater chain

LOS ANGELES -- Loews Corp. of New York is negotiating to sell its major chain of movie theaters to a group headed by Hollywood film and television businessman A. Jerold Perenchio.

Loews issued a brief statement Monday confirming reports of the negotiations, but it did not indicate their status.

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The statement also did not name others involved in Perenchio's group.

Perenchio owns Embassy Communications in Los Angeles with his longtime partner, television producer Norman Lear.

But Embassy spokeswoman Barbara Brogliati said Lear 'at present' is not involved in the Loews deal.

Embassy Communications has a subsidiary, Embassy Pictures, which is co-producing the movie version of the stage hit 'A Chorus Line.' Embassy Pictures recently has sought to finance other pictures by selling shares in a limited partnership private placement.

Loews, a conglomerate with main interests in tobacco products, insurance and hotels, said it operates 266 movie screens in six states. In some cases, several of the screens are in a single theater.

Perenchio was out of town, said Brogliati, who added her employer 'considers himself a private individual and doesn't talk to the press.'

The Loews statement said the proposal was subject to board and other approvals.

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'The proposed transaction contemplates that management of the theaters division would remain in placd,' the company said.

Loews' theater chain contributed $76.9 million, or about 1.4 percent of the conglomerate's $5.6 billion in revenue last year.

Perenchio joined producers Lear and Bud Yorkin in 1973 and became president of Tandem Productions, which made such television network hit series as 'All in the Family' and 'Sanford and Son.'

In 1977, Perenchio started ON TV, a pay television service in Los Angeles, with Oak Industries of San Diego and sold his interest in September 1981.

Embassy Communications was a merger of Avco Embassy Pictures and T.A.T. Communications.

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