How do you describe MovieTowne? A beautiful multiplex with first-run movies? An incredible mall with top-flight stores and restaurants? An amusement park? A Caribbean paradise?
All of the above. The brainchild of Derek Chin, the complex was born in 2002 at Invaders Bay in Trinidad and Tobago’s capital, Port-of-Spain. He brought an experience to the islanders that was nothing like they’d ever seen before outside the U.S — a state-of-the-art multiplex cinema with luxury seating for 2,500 patrons viewing the latest Hollywood has to offer. But he didn’t stop there. He surrounded the theater with the MovieTowne Mall that hosts a vast array of elegant retail outlets, stages with live music and fine dining spots.
He now operates 22 screens with two more locations, one in Tobago and another Trinidad spot in Chaugagas. MovieTowne has become the go-to shopping and entertainment hub in the Caribbean region.
According to Chin “The cinematic industry in Trinidad and Tobago was on its knees before MovieTowne came into being. People preferred DVD’s, VHS and Betamax at home to going to the cinema…” where they had to experience long lines in order to view the latest films from Hollywood under “deplorable” conditions in local auditoriums. And the customer service was “…far from polished if it existed at all. MovieTowne changed all this. I wanted to bring the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to movie fans here on the islands and…introduce people to a far higher level of customer service than they were accustomed to.”
He has succeeded. His chain serves over 1.5 million movie patrons per year. The Trinidad and Tobago Newsday reports that MovieTowne has “…contributed towards enhancing the social and national fabric of the country.” Chin’s latest projects, a 175,000 square foot mall in Guyana and a fifth complex in South Trinidad, will break ground this December.
The MovieTowne Mall has a family-friendly nature as well. Adjacent to the shopping and dining is Green Park, consisting of amusement park rides, including a beautiful carousel and ferris wheel. Beyond that, Chin reports, “We promote and fund youth education through film. We founded the Secondary Schools Short Film competition which enables film students to not only get specialist support and tutoring but win scholarships into higher education courses.” The “Trinbago Kids Got Talent” competition showcases young musicians in different age categories to thousands of patrons. They receive constructive feedback from local professional artists.
With film festivals, wedding planning and reception, a banquet and conference center, toy stores, sushi, Italian cuisine, gourmet sweets, coffee shops … the list goes on.
Diamond Ticketing Systems is proud to be a part of MovieTowne’s success. The PrintTixUSA online ticketing engine allows their patrons the ease of ordering tickets on the cinemas’ websites. They remain on the websites without being directed to other sites full of unrelated advertising offers and the like. This relationship is truly a MovieTowne experience.