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Wednesday, February 8, 2023


Aug. 28, 2001– After more than 30 years of motion pictures flickering across its screens, the Cinema One theater will go dark for good Wednesday night.
Robert Carady, vice president and owner of Caribbean Cinemas, said that with the advent of new technology and the opening of his multiplex movie theaters at Market Square East, it was no longer "economically viable" to keep Cinema One open.
After he opened the seven-theater complex at Market Square two years ago, Carady said, attendance dropped off dramatically at Cinema One, forcing him to make the decision to close.
Carady took over the Sugar Estate theater in 1988 from Morris Paiewonsky, who had run it since 1969. In the summer of 1993, Carady turned what had been a single, 800-seat theater into three separate, smaller ones.
From 1995, when Hurricane Marilyn severely damaged the four theaters Carady also owned at Four Winds Plaza, until the multiplex opened nearly four years later, Cinema One was St. Thomas's only movie house.
"The large auditorium was a fantastic theater," Carady said, referring to what became a 500-seat theater when Cinema One was remodeled.
Carady is open to "doing another theater in the future" on the island but said he would "have to go with a new modern type of theater."
Cinema One employed six people, who Carady said were notified of the closing at the first of June. Manager Ronald Henry, who also has a full-time day job, said he was going to "take it easy" for a while.
The space has already been leased by the Word of Faith International Christian Center.
Repeating that his decision was "strictly economic," Carady said, "We understand the industry has to evolve and upgrade."

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