By Sue-Ann Wayow
MOVIETOWNE Chaguanas is now permanently closed following weeks of serious negotiations with its landlord.
It was a tough decision to make but the economic situation in the middle of the pandemic was too risky to move any further says owner Derek Chin.
The cineplex and entertainment hub was closed down in early October but negotiations had continued with the hope that both parties could have come to an agreement.
However, that did not happen and Chin said alternative arrangements are being considered.
Derek Chin on Friday morning told AZPNews.com, “After many weeks of intense negotiations with our landlord, we have been unable to resolve our status at MovieTowne Chaguanas.
“As a result, MovieTowne has made a final decision to close down permanently and to remove its assets and presence from Price Plaza mall.
“We wish to say sorry to all our central and Chaguanas patrons who have supported us over the last ten years but can assure you that we will be looking at alternative possibilities once the Covid virus issue is minimised.
“Thank you again and please continue to support us at our other two branches at C3 Mall, south and MovieTowne Mall in Port-of-Spain.”
He added, “I really tried but the economics given the circumstances made it too risky and we believe would put us back into significant losses.”
President of the Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIC) Vishnu Charran said it was a tremendous loss to the central shopping capital as many people ventured into Chaguanas just to go to MovieTowne.
He said, “Movie Towne was the star attraction of Chaguanas. It is a major loss to the young people and families, those who were seeking recreation, it was a perfect place to go, watch a movie, have dinner and visit the other stores. Mr Chin would have lost a huge investment in that closure.”
Charran added that he noted Chin stated revenues were declining since last year and perhaps persons were downplaying the economic situation that has been magnified as result of Covid-19.
He is also advising business owners especially small businesses to be extremely prudent for the Christmas season and not to overstock on items for sale.
“We have to be very resilient and creative to survive. Businesses have to be very careful going into 2021,” Charran said.