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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Official: Closed Villaggio cinemas put ‘extreme stress’ on City Center’s theaters this Eid

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Long lines and parking snarls failed to deter some 20,000 people from watching movies at City Center’s Grand Cinecentre during the three days of Eid, local media reports state.

The main attraction for many movie-goers was The Dark Knight Rises, which was released in many countries in the Middle East for the first time during the holidays.

“The turnout this year was not significantly different from last year, with the exception of the impact of the closure of cinemas at Villaggio, which resulted in an extreme stress on the City Center cinemas,” Mohammed Ali, Director General of Qatar-Bahrain Cinema Co., told Al Arab.

The same company operates theaters at both malls.

To manage the crowds, cinema employees worked up to 12-hour shifts, as some cinema-goers chose to buy tickets online or via the phone.

The Peninsula reports:

More than 6,000 people visited City Center cinema on the first day of Eid and the demand quickly picked up pace on the second and third days, bringing the total number of visitors to 20,000 by Wednesday…

News about the reopening of Villaggio on Eid began to circulate during the last days of Ramadan, and many people – especially youngsters – were disappointed to find out that these were only rumours. “I was really looking forward to watch the new Batman movie at the Villaggio cinema,” Hana Zia said.

It is not clear whether Villaggio, which has been closed since the May 28 fire that killed 19 people, will reopen in parts, and the mall has yet to announce an official reopening date.

Has anyone seen movies at other venues around town? 

How are the crowds?

Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala

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