Saturday, December 16, 2017

Southpark Cinemas to reopen September 12

SOUTHPARK Cinemas 10 is now expected to reopen on September 12, 23 days after its initial public opening on August 20.

Robert Carrady, owner of Caribbean Cinemas, which is responsible for the multi-million dollar facility said the cinema operator’s licence should be granted by September 11. 

Depending on what time the company receives it, the theatre may be open that day.

The new cineplex at the Tarouba Link Road, San Fernando, was shut down a day after its opening as it  was ordered closed since Caribbean Cinemas was unable to obtain the necessary licence.

Yesterday, Carrady said: “On August 20, when we opened to the public, we had our building permit, and the necessary approvals required for that building permit, but most importantly from the Fire Department. The cinema operator’s licence is a very cumbersome process that essentially duplicates what we needed to do to get the building permit. There is a minimum requirement of having to wait 21 days even after you submit everything in order for the licence to be granted.”

Ongoing industrial action at the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court was responsible for the delay in the processing of the application, Carrady said.

He said by the time the cineplex reopens, the company would have lost about $1 million.

“We worked very hard with our contractors to have the theatre open before the summer movies season ended so naturally we are very disappointed . We had all our employees trained, everybody was ready to go,” he said.

He thanked San Fernando Deputy Mayor Junia Regrello for assisting him during the process.

Regrello had said he was embarrassed by the closure since the San Fernando City Corporation wanted to encourage investors into the city and not dissuade them.

He said the law needed amending. The Cinematography Act of 1936 states that a licence is required to operate a theatre since the materials used then in theatres were highly flammable.

Carrady said the company was appreciative of the favourable reviews from opening night and from social media.

Many have been looking forward to visiting the much-advertised Southpark Cinemas 10 equipped with ten screens and a special auditorium-the (Caribbean Cinemas Extreme) CXC room. The facility also has two party rooms, a deli cafe and a game room. 

Carrady added: “We have mentioned before that is a very archaic law largely due to an earlier time when film was flammable and  projector bulbs were carbon arcs and projectionists had to be licensed electricians. Today we are 100 per cent digital projection and sound.