San Fernando’s Empire Cinema is now the last of the bastions of longstanding movie theatres in T&T. With the advent of the internet, television and the popularity of ultra-modern cineplexes like MovieTowne and Caribbean Cinemas, over a dozen “traditional” cinemas have folded over the last few decades. They include Globe, Strand and De Luxe in Port of Spain, Palladium, Eros and Monarch in Tunapuna, the Ritz in San Juan and most recently, National in San Fernando.
Just October last year, National Cinema, the only remaining single-screen cinema, closed its doors as it “could no longer maintain itself due to competition”, an official affiliated with the cinema told Express Business last week. But Empire has stood the test of time.
The cinema’s owner, Vickram Bharrathsingh, believes it was only able to survive because of its decision to install additional movie projectors, while at the same time keeping prices low.