The Digicel Imax Cinema located at One Woodbrook Place

With moviegoers flocking to their Imax and Gemstone cinemas to catch Spiderman: No Way Home and the Matrix: Resurrections, it is hoped that these last few weeks will begin to usher CinemaOne from the significant losses they have experienced in the last 18 months.

In the company’s audited financial statements for the year ended September 30, 2021, the company incurred a loss for the year of $6,997,483.

In 2020, the company’s losses stood at $4,922,861.

The driving factor in these losses has been the COVID-19 pandemic, as for much of 2020 and 2021 the company’s various movie theatres were forced closed by government mandates.

The financial report noted, “The initial mandated closure extended for 107 days until July 2, 2020. In response to a second COVID-19 pandemic wave in T&T, the Prime Minister again announced the closure of cinemas on August 17, 2020 to November 8, 2020. The second mandated closure had a duration of 84 days.”

However, the report noted the measures introduced in 2021 were even more restrictive on operations.

It stated, “On April 29, 2021, just over a year after the initial COVID-19 outbreak, T&T’s prime minister mandated a third lockdown and full closure of cinemas. Given the more acute stage of COVID-19 infection rates at that time, T&T escalated its COVID-19 response to a full State of Emergency (SOE) on May 15, 2021. As a result, the cinema sector was closed in the interest of public safety for the remaining balance of the fiscal 2021 period. Overall, the Company was fully operational for only 135 days in fiscal 2021, albeit with significant operational restrictions such as a 50 per cent capacity limitation and 10 pm closure period.”

The company was also hampered by the decision not to allow the sale of food and beverage at cinema concession stores at cinemas in April, and the restriction on the consumption of alcohol in public.

The pandemic also impacted the company’s planned expansion as CinemaOne continued “its phased approach to decelerated capital expenditures related to its ongoing theatre expansion project in Gulf City Mall.”