Saturday 5 December, 2020

Suruj backs Price Plaza boycott after MovieTowne Chaguanas closure

File: Surujrattan Rambachan.

File: Surujrattan Rambachan.

Former Chaguanas mayor Surujrattan Rambachan described the closure of MovieTowne Chaguanas as a very regrettable decision for the people of Central Trinidad. 

His comment comes as MovieTowne owner Derek Chin on Sunday confirmed the location would be closing its doors after a decade in operation.

Chin pointed to issues with negotiating with the landlord, Endeavour Holdings Limited, on the payment of rent for the space at Price Plaza.

The MovieTowne owner assured staff would be taken care of.

Rambachan said Chin brought a whole new definition of family leisure to Chaguanas and introduced standards of customer satisfaction that were comparable to the best internationally.

He added: “As an entrepreneur he took the risk of investing in Chaguanas and in particular a cinema when people were arguing that the days of cinema were over. It was the experience he provided that mattered to people and they were willing to pay premium prices for it.”

Rambachan, who said he was “personally saddened” by the closure said “Price Plaza benefitted from the generosity of the people of Central without equivalent commitment to the development of Central”. 

He said the cinema’s closure was truly unfortunate as the Price Plaza owners had an opportunity to demonstrate a higher level of corporate social behaviour, especially given the exigencies of the current economic situation.

The former mayor said he would support any move to boycott businesses at Price Plaza, given EHL’s response.

“It will be interesting if the people of Central were to boycott the other businesses at the Plaza to show their displeasure at what has happened. I will support such a boycott.”

Cinemas are among the hardest hit by the pandemic with operations suspended worldwide.

Locally, movie theatres closed not long after confirmation of T&T’s first case in March. Since then, cinemas were given a brief reprieve in June but were again closed just three weeks later.

Despite subsequent revisions of COVID-19 restrictions which saw other sectors reopening, there’s been no word on when cinemas will be allowed to reopen.

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