BORACAY — Residents and people working on the island paradise of Boracay and Aklan province in Panay used to travel for several hours just to watch the latest blockbuster hit on the big screen.
CityMall Commercial Centers Inc. (CMCCI), the community mall development arm of listed property firm DoubleDragon Properties Corp., and ABS-CBN Corp., the country’s largest media and entertainment company, on Friday launched the first-ever cinemas on the world-famous island.
And what better way to inaugurate the new movie houses than by screening “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”?
The second film in the epic Star Wars sequel trilogy opened on a blustery weekend in CityMall-Boracay, defying a tropical cyclone brewing the region.
“The addition of cinemas in Boracay is part of our thrust of bringing modern conveniences to the island,” said Ferdinand Sia, president of DoubleDragon Properties. ”Residents can now enjoy the latest box-office releases without having to travel out, adding more leisure activities to be enjoyed.”
CityMall-Boracay cinemas, which boast of a state-of-the-art projection and sound system, feature two theaters with a total seating capacity of 220. They are also screening movies on their release date, according to DoubleDragon.
After “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” CityMall-Boracay will next screen Metro Manila Film Festival entries “The Revenger Squad” starring Vice Ganda and Coco Martin’s “Ang Panday.”
It was built deliberately far from Boracay’s White Beach because of City Mall’s target market, according to Sia, noting that City Mall branches are found where the communities are, far from tourist areas.
The Boracay community mall is the island’s top commercial destination, as it offers convenience and everything one needs to residents and even tourists alike.
The Boracay cinemas are one of the many that CityMall is rolling out nationwide. These include theaters in CityMall-Anabu in Imus, Cavite; CityMall-Consolacion in Cebu; CityMall-Dumaguete; and CityMall-Mandalagan in Bacolod, all of which are already in operation.
CMCCI is targeting a capacity of up to 12,000 cinema seats by 2020, with around 100 CityMalls expected to be operational by that time.
Partnership with ABS-CBN
ABS-CBN Corp. signed an agreement with CMCCI in December 2016 to roll out cinemas in the provinces.
Under the partnership, ABS-CBN will manage the booking and the food and beverage operations of the mini theaters while CityMall will handle handle the cinema infrastructure.
ABS-CBN president Carlo L. Katigbak earlier said the venture would expand the reach of Star Cinema, ABS-CBN’s movie production arm.
“In our partnership with CityMall, I’m happy to say that our movies will now be made available in areas where they weren’t available before,” Katigbak said.
by: J. Malig, abs-cbn