Wednesday, February 02, 2005

More cinemas for Muscat.. please

Getting back to the schizophrenic nature of this blog, today I got movies on my mind.

Isn't it ridiculous how a town as big as Muscat has only five cinemas of which only three with a total of just 9 screens are dedicated to English movies- sometimes less if Ruwi Cinema decides to show Hindi movies on some of its screens. Some movies which came out last week have already been pulled to make way for this week's new movies. I wanted to see Phantom of the Opera but I haven't had the time so far this week. It only came out last Wednesday and now it's gone. It's not playing anywhere.

Whenever a large building comes up in town, people start speculating if it's a cinema. There's been talk of a small cinema to be added to Zakher ever since it was built close to 10 years ago. When City Center was under construction the sign board said it would include a 5 screen cinema, but then Al Futtaim changed his mind. Now there's talk of a City Center expansion, so you can bet people will start asking if it will include a cinema.

The people obviously want more cinemas, so how come no one's building? We need a huge big-ass cinema. Something with 6 or more big screens, not more small two screen cinemas with 150 seats per screen which have to stop showing last week's movies even if they're making money. I wonder if Shatti Plaza's owners regret not having built it with more screens considering the amount of business they get. They could have built their cinema without the restaurant and the cafe and put in 5 screens instead of 3. The restaurant bombed and has been closed for over a year. Why do you need a restaurant in a movie theatre anyhow?

A few years ago I met a manager from a South African movie theatre chain which operates the largest chain in Lebanon and has been expanding rapidly in the UAE too. He told me they've been yearning to have a cinema in Oman, but they just can't get local investors who are willing to shoulder the costs of building a cinema. Apparently Omanis always want it the easy way by just sponsoring the company and taking a monthly fixed amount. I told him I wouldn't mind a couple thou a month from them if they need a local sponsor either.


Anonymous said...

And there you have it. Easy money. The rest of us have to work for it.

I thought WTO regulations were supposed to put things on an even footing, by banning this sort of sponsorship?

And of course, Oman has probably been 'given time' to sort things out.

Well, never mind. Let's see what it's like in 50 years' time.


Anonymous said...

One thing I sooooooo disagree with is the "sponsoring" business. It's so unethical; it's daylight crime!

Anonymous said...

It's like taking somebody's money for something you didn't do.

It's money that you didn't work for.

Shame shame shame!

muscati said...

But what about the movies?!!!!

Winger said...

I agree with you completely on this, Muscati. I think a modern multiplex is badly needed here. Bahja and Shatti are full whenever I go (which admittedly is only for the popular films). But the private sector here is not brave enough for this. We need a big leisure development company here. Done right, I think it'll work.

DesertPrince said...

it's really anyoing thing to have, such country shouldnt be lacking of this matter!! Grrr!

S said...

I came across this post when i was searching for movie timings at Al Shatti. Its so funny because i realized that the post dated back to Feb 2005 and in the last 4 years, at least from what i see, very little has changed! Its a pity, cos its a pleasure to watch a movie in a cinema hall as opposed to watching it on DVD.