THE city of San Fernando gets a brand new entertainment centre—the SouthPark Caribbean Cinemas 10, on Tuesday.
Located at the Tarouba Link Road, near Toyota’s headquarters, the new building will have ten auditoriums, stadium seating for 1,000, giant screens—four with 3D technology, 100 per cent digital projection—an arcade game room, two party rooms, concessions and deli cafe.
Robert Carrady, president of Caribbean Cinemas, which has an entertainment centre at Trincity Mall, said it cost the company more than $20 million to establish.
Caribbean Cinemas was first established in Puerto Rico in the 1960s.
In 1988, for the first time in the English-speaking Caribbean, a branch was set up.
Today the company has 456 screens in 56 locations in 11 Caribbean countries, including the ten in San Fernando.
Carrady told the Express: “We have been looking for a suitable location in San Fernando since 2004 because we always felt that the south needed a modern multiplex cinema. There was a need for it. There is a large population and lots of businesses.”
The cineplex is part of a mega development plan for the Tarouba area which includes a shopping complex, pharmacy and other types of businesses.
Carrady said when he became aware of the development plans, headed by Joseph Rahael, he decided that Caribbean Cinemas should be involved.
Construction officially began in July 2013. The grand opening is scheduled for Tuesday.
Carrady will be travelling from Puerto Rico to attend the event.
Carrady said: “It will be a state-of-the-art multiplex cinema equal to the best there is in the world.”
The (Caribbean Cinemas Extreme) CXC room is the main feature, he said, a screen 55 feet in width by 35 feet in length.
Carrady said the complex in San Fernando was much larger and more modern than the one at Trincity.
He said: “The design for Caribbean Cinemas at Trincity would have been done in the late 90s. It was a different time period and the design was more conservative. There have been changes in the movie theatre industry and we have learned from the Trincity experience.”
Carrady said he had no problem with setting up a complex, a few minutes drive away from where MovieTowne is establishing its own, at Corinth Village.
“There is room for both of us,” he said.
“Movie-going is very much a middle class pastime. And since Trinidad has a growing middle class because Trinidad has been growing economically, I don’t see a problem with two complexes going up near each other.”
The construction of the complex has created 100 jobs, Carrady said, and 70 additional jobs with staffing.
There were also 25 indirect job opportunities created.
Staff members have already been selected for the complex and they were being trained at the branch in Trincity, Carrady said.
Most were from San Fernando.
San Fernando Mayor Kazim Hosein said he was excited about the new infrastructure.
He said: “I welcome this in San Fernando. It will do a lot for the young people, business and entertainment.”