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Liberty Cinemas to invest over Rs. 400 m for new multiplexes


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IN-2

Liberty Cinemas Ltd. Managing Director Imithiyaz J. Cader – Pic by Shehan Gunasekara

 

  • Converts single screen Liberty Cinema to a multiplex to be operational from April
  • Signs up with Colombo City Centre to set up 6-screen multiplex with over Rs. 250 m investment
  • Plans to take modern movie-watching experience to more multiplexes in Kandy, Moratuwa, Galle, Mount Lavinia
  • Says Govt. keen on joint ventures to encourage foreign production houses

 

By Charumini de Silva

Liberty Cinemas Ltd. will be investing over Rs.400 million to set up and convert its existing theatre circuit with the most advanced technology and take it to more locations around the country to upgrade consumer experiences.

The firm has commenced conversion of its extremely popular single screen Liberty Theatre into a multiplex with the most advanced digital formats with an investment of over Rs. 120 million, Liberty Cinemas Ltd. Managing Director Imithiyaz J. Cader told the Daily FT.

Liberty Theatre will comprise two screens with a capacity of around 600 seats, to be completed by April with an aim to release upcoming American action film ‘Fast and Furious 8’ in line with the international release date. 

“The contract we had with EAP Cinemas expired in January and we thought it was high time to convert the single screen to a multiplex considering the demand. We intend to have two screens, where the ground floor theatre would be the largest with over 300 seats,” he added.

He said the theatre would also be equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system and would undergo a complete refurbishment with more comfortable and ergonomic seating and an ambiance to optimise viewing pleasure, thus providing the audience a joyful and memorable movie experience. 

In addition, the firm has signed up with the ultra-modern mixed development project, Colombo City Centre, to set up a six-screen multiplex under the brand name Scope Cinemas, in which Liberty Cinema holds 70% shares.

“The multiplex at the CCC will be managed by Scope Cinemas, while Liberty Cinemas will be the investment. We are investing around Rs. 250 million to Rs. 300 million for the multiples at CCC,” he added.

The family-friendly Liberty Cinemas circuit plans to take the modern movie-watching experience, once privileged to the country’s capital, to the rural areas of the island, giving every citizen an equal opportunity to enjoy a truly magical viewing experience while focusing especially on releasing and promoting internationally and locally produced films nationwide.

“We are looking at places in Kandy, Moratuwa, Mount Lavinia and Galle at present to set up multiplexes. We requested the Government to provide us suitable lands at easy payment schemes to set up multiplex cinemas around the country to create equal opportunity to watch the latest movies,” he noted.

Liberty Cinemas, the agent to import Hollywood movies from Paramount and Universal Pictures for the past six decades, has been maintaining a healthy relationship with its nearest competitor, EAP Cinemas, for years. 

Although the company is on a mission to expand its presence nationwide, he asserted that while they release movies on their own as much as possible, they would still work with other cinemas as well.

Cader acknowledged that the Government was keen on nurturing and uplifting the film industry and noted that they were keen on looking at joint ventures to encourage foreign production houses, which would also boost the tourism industry.


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