Mati Multiplex, the first state-of-the-art cinema house in the country, has launched a plan to expand nationwide with branches across six major regional towns while Bahir Dar becomes the first town outside Addis Ababa to have 3D Cinema facility.
Although Mekele, the seat of the Tigray Regional State, is the first regional town to host the first branch of the Cinema chain a year ago with 35mm movie screening cinema facility, another regional town Bahr Dar has taken the lead in hosting the 3D Cinema infrastructure outside of Addis Ababa.
Marketing head of Matti Multiplex, Yidnekachew Firew, told The Reporter that the company has begun screening movies in 35mm screen last month in Bahir Dar before it made the decision to move the 3D screening facility.
He also said that 3D screening will be launched next month with a grand opening ceremony to kick-start Mati Cinema in the lakeside town.
According to Yidnekachew, the company has leased the famous Mulualem Cultural Center in Bahr Dar for one year to screen its movies with possible extension on the contract.
In addition to Bahir Dar and Mekele, the company has also finalized preparations to open more branches in Adama, Hawassa, Dire Dawa and Gonder, all major towns across Ethiopia.
The company also noted that the four branches are expected to be operational in the coming months with an estimated budget of 15 to 25 million birr.
In a related news, Sino Cinema, the sole private Cinema House in Gonder, 747 Km North of Addis Ababa, is struggling to stay afloat due to the shortage of up to date local and international films. The company also said that Addis Ababa-based filmmakers are reluctant to supply films for screening in Gonder, one of the historical towns in Northern Ethiopia.
Sino Cinema house also revealed that the arrival of Kana TV, a Dubai-based TV stations airing dubbed Amharic content to audiences across Ethiopia, has compounded the problem it has been facing.
Manager of Sino Cinema, Yetimgeta Sisay, told The Reporter that although the cinema houses is well equipped with modern sound devices, screens and the capacity to accommodate over 130 people at a time, it is struggling to convince filmmakers and secure regular flow of up to date films to the viewership in Gonder.
Yetimgeta also hinted to The Reporter that owner of the Cinema is in discussion with Mati Multiplex for possible leasing of cinema hall to the latter. On the other hand, Yidnekachew also confirmed the talks but if the deal goes through Mati Multiplex would be housed in Sino Cinema in Gonder.