By Ramesh Mathew
The Gulf Cinema complex in Najma, the country’s oldest film screening facility, will be reopened possibly around Eid al-Adha later this year after renovation. The cinema has been closed since the beginning of 2013.
CEO and Managing Director of the Qatar Cinema and Film Distribution Company (QCFDC) Ali Ishaq Hussain al-Ishaq said yesterday the renovation work had begun and if all went well it would be completed in three to four months.
The QCFDC, which is a listed company on Qatar Exchange, owns and manages the property, spread over 30,000sq m and comprises the cinema complex, other real estate assets and an apartment complex, the combined market value of which today would run into several millions of riyals.
While explaining the inordinate delay in the reopening of the cinema complex, which was a favourite venue of the film-goers, especially the middle- and low-income groups in the Asian expatriate groups until its closure in January last year, the CEO said the company had been working all along since then on the drawings and wanted to ensure that every requirement as stipulated by the local authorities is met.
“Now that the renovation work has begun we hope that everything mandatory requirement would be put in place in a few months from now,” he said.
Now the company, said the CEO, is concentrating its efforts on the speedy renovation process of the complex so that it would be ready to meet the requirements of the country’s cine-goers.
Al-Ishaq also said even though the company had been screening the Indian movies at some of the multiplex screens, they were far from enough to cater to a growing numbers of film-goers in the Asian communities.
Answering a query on the company’s expansion plans Al-Ishaq said the QCFDC was also planning to open new screens in some of the new malls which are either completed or currently under construction. “However, it is too early to speak on such developmental plans at this juncture,” he said.
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