NEW YORK (AP) _ Warner Communications Inc. will acquire a 50 percent interest in Gulf & Western Inc.'s movie theater operations in the United States, the two companies announced Thursday.

Terms of the agreement weren't disclosed.

Gulf & Western is a large publishing, financial services and entertainment company. Its U.S. theater business is comprised of three divisions: Mann Theatres, with 360 movie theaters located mostly in southern California, and the rest in Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah; Festival Enterprises, with 91 screens in the San Francisco Bay area and in central California; and Trans-Lux, with 21 theaters in Fairfield County, Conn., and one in New York.

Gulf & Western also owns theater circuits in Canada and other countries, as well as Paramount Pictures and the Madison Square Garden sports and entertainment complex in New York.

Warner's entertainment interests include Warner Bros. movies and television, and Warner Home Video. Warner also is engaged in music recording and publishing, cable and broadcasting businesses, and book and magazine publishing.