Filmgarde Cineplexes closes 2 cinemas in Singapore as part of business transformation plan – Post World

SINGAPORE: Filmgarde Cineplexes announced Tuesday (Jan. 11) that it is closing two of its cinemas as part of a business transformation plan to deal with “changing trends” in the industry.

In a press release, the domestic cinema operator said that after the leases in the two shopping centers expire, it will cease operations in its Bugis + and Century Square branches by March.

“Filmgarde will gradually close these branches from the first quarter of 2022 for restoration work,” it said.

Director Han Minli told CNA that the company is still setting the schedule for this reinstatement work, which will depend on several factors including labor availability. Currently, the Century Square cinema “closes at the end of March”, while Bugis + could close “a little earlier”.

“But apart from that, we would definitely inform our customers in good time,” said Han.

“Almost 20 employees” who are stationed in the two cinemas are affected by the closings. The company said it will keep all of its employees and move them to other areas of the business, such as the real estate and hospitality businesses.

Plans for the remaining cinema in the amusement park Kallang as well as new business initiatives would be announced “in due course”, it said.

The company has been reviewing key industry trends for some time, according to Sherman Ong, director of cinema operations at Filmgarde.

“Since 2013, the total number of moviegoers in Singapore has generally declined. This is despite an increase in the number of screens and seating capacity over the same period, ”he added in the press release.

“In fact, national admissions from 2017 to 2019 had already fallen to pre-2010 levels. The outbreak of COVID-19 has only accelerated and exacerbated these existing trends. “

Mr. Ong noted that the film industry, like many others, has seen tremendous changes in the wake of the wave of digitization.

The rise in online streaming platforms, he added, has “fundamentally changed the global production and distribution models of content, as well as audience behavior and media consumption patterns.”

This is having an impact on cinemas around the world, including those in Singapore, which traditionally rely on Hollywood and other overseas content, he said.

“Therefore, we believe that once our leases have expired, it is time to focus our investments on developing new growth areas in the media industry and expanding our presence in other sectors to keep pace with market demands,” said Mr. Ong.


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