Movie Towne at Price Plaza, Chaguanas.

The overcast weather over Chaguanas yesterday added to the sense of gloom felt by the tenants occupying outlets in the vicinity of MovieTowne, Price Plaza.

The area on the northern end of the facility contains around ten business operations. Some business owners said with MovieTowne out of the picture, that area may well become a ghost town.

Yesterday, a management source of the mall said he had no comment on the issue and said a news release would be issued later in the week. A spokesman for Little Amazon pet store said when they opened around 19 months ago the traffic flow into the store was incredible and consisted of mostly families who came in to purchase pets and supplies.

The spokesman who did not wish to reveal his name said, “The closure will affect business negatively. MovieTowne is the life of the north side of Price Plaza which generates a high pedestrian flow for all stores. We are very saddened to know that the closure and hope they could reconsider and have a compromise with the landlord.”

A female employee who lives at Enterprise, Chaguanas and works at one of the nearby stores said she was shocked to learn at MovieTowne was closing.

“That is one of the biggest attractions to this mall and this side of the mall.”

She said without MovieTowne there would not be the big rush of customers as in the past despite having loyal customers.

Moviegoers said they would not be heading to Port-of-Spain or San Fernando to look at the movies.

A 35-year-old father of three who lives in Freeport said “Chaguanas is now going backwards (as) there is no cinema in Central again. We had three at one time in Chaguanas and two in the Couva-California area. Movies created a social atmosphere for families. But with COVID this all changed, people moved from the big screen to the small screen on their phones and computers for entertainment.”

Former Chaguanas Mayor Dr Suruj Rambachan said he would not be surprised if burgesses started boycotting Price Plaza.

Rambachan said, “The closure of Movie Towne Chaguanas is indeed a very regrettable decision for the people of Central Trinidad. I am personally saddened by its closure since it means that a lot of other businesses would be affected along with job losses. Price Plaza had benefited from the generosity of the people of Central without equivalent commitment to the development of Central. This is truly unfortunate since the owners of Price Plaza had an opportunity to demonstrate a higher level of corporate social behaviour.”

He added: “It will be interesting if the people of Central were to boycott the mother businesses at the plaza to show their displeasure at what has happened. I will support such a boycott.”