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Sunday, September 25, 2022


The sign on the front of the building going up at the new Market Square East — only a few thousands yards from the old drive-in movie in Donoe — says "Coming Soon" and it's true. By the end of June St. Thomas will have seven new state-of-the-art movie theaters.
There will seating for about 1200 people total. The largest of the theaters will seat about 300 people and the other six will seat about 150-155 each, according to Victor Carady, president of Caribbean Cinemas Corp.
The theaters will have stadium seating, meaning the seats are sloped so that each tier is slightly higher than the one in front of it, allowing for clear visibility of the screens, according to John de Jongh, president of Lockhart Caribbean Corp., the leaseholder on the property where the theaters are being built.
Caribbean Cinemas is building their own building. After the experience with Hurricane Marilyn where there was massive damage done to the three theaters the company owned at Four Winds Plaza, Carady said, "We aren't going to take any chances. The building we are putting up will make it through any storms, I guarantee it."
The theaters at Four Winds never reopened after Marilyn, leaving St. Thomas with only three movie theaters. With the new additions it will bring to 10 the number of cinemas on the island.
When asked what kind of movies the company will run in the new theaters Carady said that having 10 theaters will allow them more of a choice but went on to say, "That depends on the public. We run what they want. If they come to certain films, we will keep running those kind of films."
Recently the highly acclaimed foreign film "Life Is Beautiful" had a two week run at Cinema One in Estate Thomas, that is also owned by Carady's firm.
"It is still playing at our theater in Puerto Rico. It's been here for 13 weeks. It's also running in Santo Domingo. It's been there for eight weeks," Carady said.
"We're in the theater business," he said, adding "We'll go wherever we can an open theaters. That's what we do."
There has, at times, been public criticism of the choice of films that have shown in St. Thomas. Carady in response said, "If people don't buy eggs, the supermarket stops carrying eggs. It's as simple as that."
He said "Life is Beautiful" did well in St. Thomas.

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