Barco to sup­ply equip­ment for 100 new cin­e­mas

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - ZAY YAR LINN za­yarlinn@mm­ – Trans­la­tion by Thiri Min Htun

Lo­cal dis­trib­u­tor Clover So­lu­tion will in­stall US$6 mil­lion worth of Brus­sels­made tech­nol­ogy to 100 movie theatres slated to be built across Myan­mar over the next two years.

CLOVER So­lu­tion has signed with lo­cal com­pany MAZE to in­stall US$6 mil­lion in cinema equip­ment, made by Brus­sels-based tech­nol­ogy firm Barco, in 100 cin­e­mas slated to be built across Myan­mar over the next two years.

The two lo­cal com­pa­nies signed the deal yes­ter­day in Yan­gon, one week after MAZE, which is run by ac­tor U Lwin Moe, an­nounced am­bi­tious plans to build movie theatres across the coun­try.

Clover So­lu­tion man­ag­ing direc­tor U Zin Aung Soe said each pro­jec­tor will cost be­tween $30,000 and $40,000 to in­stall. “It will cost more than $60,000 to in­stall equip­ment at each cinema in­clud­ing au­dio sys­tems, so we have es­ti­mated the to­tal cost at $6 mil­lion for 100 cin­e­mas,” he told The Myan­mar Times.

MAZE hopes the new in­vest­ment, backed by fi­nanc­ing from con­glom­er­ate KBZ Group, will help to re­vi­talise Myan­mar’s film in­dus­try. “If there are cin­e­mas, the film in­dus­try will make more in­come, but we need to at­tract au­di­ences with good-qual­ity theatres,” said U Lwin Moe.

There were more than 400 cin­e­mas na­tion­wide in the early 1980s, but by the 2010s this had dropped to around 40, the com­pany said. Many cin­e­mas went out of busi­ness and the build­ings have since been de­mol­ished to make way for ho­tels, shop­ping malls, and apart­ment and of­fice build­ings.

This has had a knock-on ef­fect on coun­try’s film in­dus­try. Pro­duc­ers strug­gle to make prof­its, be­cause their films have to queue – some­times for years – to be re­leased on the big screen.

It will cost nearly $20 mil­lion to build 100 cin­e­mas. As a pi­lot project, two cin­e­mas are al­ready be­ing built – one in Aung­ban, Kalaw town­ship, in south­ern Shan State and an­other in Yan­gon Re­gion’s Taikkyi town­ship.

“We will build the first two cin­e­mas in two-and-a-half or three months,” U Lwin Moe said. “After in­stalling seats, air-con­di­tion­ing and sound sys­tems, we will make the steel struc­ture and pre­cast con­crete walls for 10 cin­e­mas in a month.”

As­sum­ing the pi­lot is suc­cess­ful, the com­pany will start to build the other 98 cin­e­mas in Novem­ber. Each cinema will have 316 seats and will fea­ture a Dolby dig­i­tal sound sys­tem.

“I think we will re­cover our cap­i­tal within four years,” U Lwin Moe said.

At a press con­fer­ence ear­lier this month, KBZ said it had is­sued a K20 bil­lion project loan to cover con­struc­tion ex­penses and land ac­qui­si­tion, with around K200 mil­lion ear­marked for each cinema.

Photo: Nyan Zay Htet

Of­fi­cials ad­dress me­dia at a sign­ing cer­e­mony be­tween MAZE and Barco sup­plier Clover So­lu­tion at Novo­tel Ho­tel Yan­gon.

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