MovieTowne chairman and founder, Derek Chin, has identified Jamaica and St Lucia, as the next territories for his multi-million dollar Cineplex in his Caribbean expansion push, which includes Jamaica. Referring to Jamaica, Chin disclosed that has received an invitation to enter the local market as well as invitations to enter the markets of St Vincent, Antigua St Lucia.
MovieTowne entry in the Jamaican market would disturb Palace Amusement’s monopoly of the local cinema market. Jamaica’s cinema market has been coming out a period of recession in the 80s and 90s, which saw the closures of many cinemas owing to cheaper options of entertainment such as the advent of pirated videos, satellite dish and cable television.
MovieTowne’s first Cineplex outside of Trinidad and Tobago was in Guyana and is said to be the most significant private sector investment in that South American Caribbean country. The Guyana facility is set to open between November and December this year.
MovieTowne has operations at Lot D, MovieTowne Boulevard Audrey Jeffers Highway, Port of Spain; Price Plaza, Endeavour Road, Chaguanas; Corinth Street, San Fernando, all in Trinidad; Gulf View Mall, Lowlands, Tobago and Turkeyen East Coast Demerara, Georgetown, Guyana.
Palace Amusement operates the Carib 5 in Cross Roads, Palace Cineplex in Liguanea, Palace Multiplex in Montego Bay and the recently opened Cineplex in Portmore, St Catherine. In recent times there have been a resurgent of moviegoers and MovieTowne intends to benefit from this resurgence with its planned entry into Jamaica and other Caribbean islands.
According to Chin, “The brand and MovieTowne and what we have done with it in the last 15 years has caught the attention of other Caribbean countries who are now interested in coming to us. Offers of land or concessions to come and invest in their island or country, is something I am working on.”
He plans to set up operations in St Lucia before coming to Jamaica, while building out his presence in Toronto, Canada, where MovieTowne is looking to open its first cinema operations in that part of the world.
Regarding the Guyana operations Chin reported that construction of MovieTowne Guyana was close to completion. The US$45 million Cineplex is located at Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara. The Caribbean Business Report tried to reach out to Palace Amusement Executive Chairman, Douglas Graham for a comment but was unable to contact him.
The MovieTowne franchise is wholly owned, developed and operated by Trinidadian businessmen, led by founder and Chairman Derek Chin, and employs over 250 people.
The business has achieved a phenomenal growth rate and has revolutionised the cinema and entertainment industry in Trinidad and Tobago, now defining it as the premier cinema and entertainment complex in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.
Since opening its doors in late 2002, the state of the art multi-screen Cineplex has elevated the tastes and expectations of all Trinidadians and Tobagonians, with an ambience and energy that have defined it as the preferred venue for the local movie-going public.