21 Jun – One of Singapore's oldest cinemas, the Cathay Cineplex at Handy Road announced that it will cease operations after 26 June 2022, as part of the cost rationalisation for its cinema operations.
The Handy Road outlet is one of eight Cathay Cineplexes in Singapore, and is located at The Cathay, 2 Handy Road Singapore 229233. It also made its mark as Singapore's first air-conditioned cinema.
"The cinema's closure was a business decision," says Mr. Chang Long Jong, Group CEO for mm2 Asia. "Over the years, retail traffic demographics have changed. We have had to evaluate the commercial viability of operating two cinemas in the Orchard shopping belt within 1.5km of each other and within 300m of another multiplex."
However, he assured that it is "business as usual" at the other Cathay Cineplexes outlets in Singapore, adding that the cinema exhibition business remains a key part of the Group's overall business strategy.
"Business for the cinemas has picked up significantly since the relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions, and we are actively exploring new cinema innovations that incorporate concepts for live house, e-sports, as well as other offerings and locations, which we hope to be able to share more soon."
Finally, the Group thanked all of their cinema patrons, studio partners and suppliers for their continued support.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on the region's cinema industry, as cinemas were closed for several months, then required to operate at reduced capacities. However, as society transitions to an endemic Covid-19 strategy, the cinema business has rebounded, almost to pre-COVID levels. As of 26 April 2022, all capacity limits for cinemas have been removed.
mm2 Asia acquired Cathay Cineplexes in Singapore in November 2017, becoming the only cinema operator present in both Malaysia and Singapore. The Group presently operates eight locations in Singapore under Cathay Cineplexes and twelve locations in Malaysia under the mmCineplexes brand.