Gail Alexander and Joel Julien
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MovieTowne planning $300m complex in Sando
MovieTowne, the cinema and leisure complex at Invaders’ Bay, is planning to open its door in San Fernando and in Guyana, according to a release from the company. The MovieTowne project is expected to cost over TT $300 million and will revolutionise the landscape of entertainment in the Southland and will include: an 8-10 screen cineplex; shopping mall; restaurants; a live entertainment arena; an anchor super centre JTA Supermarket and many other attractions.
The franchise developers of Multicinemas Trinidad Limited have entered into an 18-acre real estate joint venture development with another well known local business entity, the JT Allum Group of Companies, based in San Fernando. This project, which will soon break ground, will mark MovieTowne’s fourth location in Trinidad and Tobago. It will be similar in scope and scale to the flagship MovieTowne entertainment and shopping complex at Invaders’ Bay, Port-of-Spain.
Speaking on behalf of the JT Allum Group, Christopher Mack (Managing Director) said: “As a business group that has operated in the South of Trinidad for over 70 years, we are excited about bringing a new evolution to the entertainment and shopping experience to Southerners that is eagerly anticipated. It will be a world class development that would allow families to spend a safe and enjoyable time with the most modern and sophisticated of amenities.
“Our JTA Supermarkets chain will be establishing its fifth location, which will be the largest and most modern supermarket in Trinidad. We have established a strong brand over the years which we intend to strengthen and to continually add value to our generations of loyal customers in the South.” Since its inception in 2002, MovieTowne has grown in size and stature and now has three locations in Port-of-Spain, Chaguanas and Tobago with a total of 22 screens.
The cinema chain is also in preliminary discussions with developers in East Trinidad to develop a fifth location to bring the popular entertainment and shopping complex to the area. As part of its Caribbean expansion drive MovieTowne will also be taking the concept of first-world entertainment to the Republic of Guyana, the first Caribbean country outside Trinidad and Tobago. The official launch ceremony took place in Georgetown in late 2011 and was attended by President Jagdeo and other Guyana Government officials. The mega project will start construction this year.
Asked if he thought the timing was right to further invest in Trinidad & Tobago and the Caribbean given the current economic climate, MovieTowne chairman Derek Chin Chin said: “Our people and the region will not rise out of this slump by sitting around and complaining. In order to foster growth and stimulate business activity again, the public and private sectors have to persevere and keep going with their expansion and new enterprise plans that were in the pipeline.”
He continued by adding: “This in itself will stimulate the economy and create excitement and confidence among our citizens and can have a positive effect by generating employment and business trade activities.”
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