By Isanella Patoir
The Trinidad and Tobago Cinema and Entertainment Complex MovieTowne is looking to change the entertainment landscape in Guyana.
The state-of-the-art entertainment complex held its grand ‘Hollywood to Bollywood themed opening ceremony Thursday at Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, however, it will officially open its doors to the public on March 19.
A red carpet was rolled out and VIP guests were greeted at the entrance with movie characters from famous films like Black Panther and Avatar along with the beating of African drums mixed with Indian Tassa drums, an unforgettable night for all who attended.
The opening night was highlighted by touching performances rated “G” for Guyana which took the audience through popular Hollywood and Bollywood films, songs and dance.
A mixture of short clips from iconic movies like Dirty Dancing, Beauty and the Beast, Titanic and movies like Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Devdas were shown with live performances of singing and dancing.
Dignitaries were served wine, champagne and o’dourves throughout the evening. Excited chatter and laughter were heard as the country’s elites experienced the joining of the two entertainment worlds, Hollywood and Bollywood and later became some of the first to enjoy a movie in one of the movie theatres.
“This has been a tremendous journey, it is one that I can say at long last, but you know at the end of every good thing and every great challenge you do have these great things that happen,” Director for MovieTowne, Derek Chin said.
The journey to have a family-oriented entertainment complex in Guyana started ten years ago, while the MovieTowne legacy started sixteen years ago in Trinidad.
The Director said, “the same way I thought that we there [Trinidad] needed something to entertain the people to give them something that is world class, high quality and really try to raise the standard of our lives.”
But even before all that, in 1962 a young couple arrived in Trinidad to start a new life along with five other siblings. The Chin family ventured into business, which has now arrived in Guyana as the country is on the verge of major developments in the entertainment sector.
Mr. Chin said, “for me to see this happen and to stand up here is really like a dream come true and I am so proud of everybody, my directors who went and were tough in good times and bad…we made it happen.”
He said with him being a son of the Caribbean soil, “I want to see great things for the Caribbean and let’s make this particularly, MovieTowne be the starting point of that turn.”
MovieTowne is about having a good time with friends and family with huge screens, state of the art sound systems and beautiful projections. Some of the other features MovieTowne offers include pharmacies, a shopping centre and a gaming arcade for children.
It is a new opportunity for persons to experience world famous restaurants such as Kosmos and Jaxx Grill.
“Movietowne is for the Guyana and the Guyanese people, it is for you to enjoy and I want you to all continue and support,” the Director said.
And even though there were challenges, the Director said it was worth it for all the good that it will bring to the country.
“The project here is just about one step in a great journey that will take you to other parts of Guyana, we have ten wonderful administrative regions of this country,” Minister of State Joseph Harmon said at the opening.
Additionally, Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin also said, “Good business is the key ingredient in the good life, good business is what creates jobs and opportunities, generates tax revenues and provides goods and services and experiences that can enhance people’s lives.”
Also in attendance were Vice President Carl Greenidge, Minister of Social Cohesion George Norton, Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo, Mayor of Georgetown Ubraj Narine, US Ambassador Sarah Ann-Lynch and Minister of Transport, Rohan Sinanan from Trinidad and Tobago, among many other dignitaries.
The multiplex entertainment centre will provide employment for over a thousand Guyanese. Some $US45M was invested in the Guyana franchise of MovieTowne.