The age of movie theatres in a mall-type atmosphere has rendered cinemas like Palladium obsolete, said Tony Sirjoo, manager of Palladium cinema in Tunapuna.The cinema is set to shut down permanently on August 4."Everything is digital now. You no longer have the aspect of the 35 mm film. That is done. We did not think it is cost-effective to keep that. This cinema has been around since the 1940s and has a long history," Sirjoo told the Guardian on Thursday.
The cinema will be replaced with a mall and four cineplexes.Sirjoo said times have changed and people are no longer interested in going to see a movie alone, but want the entire mall experience.
"Modern cinema today is cineplex-based. Modern cinema with cineplexes will only work in a mall atmosphere. People want a mall atmosphere. If MovieTowne was just ten screens and it did not have the Fiesta Plaza and restaurant, then it would not have worked. People go there for an outing. If they go to the traditional cinema, it is not an outing, it is just a cinema and to go home. That era of the hard top cinema has gone."
Now that the present version of the old-fashioned cinema will be closed down, Sirjoo said the plan is to turn the site into a mall."This will probably encompass a four-screen cineplex. The property is being kept within the (Chanka) Seeterram family. Of course, we have no idea as yet as to how much the project will cost."There will be underground parking and other big changes.
"The plan is to join it with C&I Seeterram Shopping Plaza next door, which is also owned by the Seeterram family. There will be a supermarket, one of the top brands in the country, stores, restaurants and other things. It is going on the concept of the mall atmosphere. A cinema without a mall is outdated in these times."
This is what the owners of Palladium published in the newspaper: "For almost a century, Palladium cinema has been a hallmark of the entertainment landscape for the communities of eastern Trinidad. Sadly, we will come to the end of an era as Palladium cinema will officially close as of August 4."As a final farewell, the soon-to-be-closed cinema will be offering 12 days of free films to the public, from July 23�August 3.