Indie cinema operator The Projector to take over Cathay Cineplex at Dhoby Ghaut from Aug 23
SINGAPORE — The Cathay Cineplex along Handy Road in Dhoby Ghaut will be screening its last movie on June 26 before it draws the curtains and hands over the space to independent cinema operator The Projector.
The Cathay Organisation said in a news release on Friday (June 17) that The Projector will begin operations from Aug 23 "as a pop-up". It will be The Projector’s third cinema venue after the ones at Golden Mile Tower and Riverside Point.
The Projector’s latest cinema will be known as Projector X: Picturehouse — named in tribute to the building’s arthouse cinema past, Cathay Organisation said.
The Cathay Cineplex on Handy Road is housed in The Cathay building, which had its beginnings in the 1930s.
It was reconstructed after it closed in end-June 2000 and reopened in 2006 to house the present cinema halls, a mall, offices and private residences. Only the art deco facade of the historic building was preserved.
The cineplex is now operated by the Singaporean film and distribution company MM2 Asia. The lease for the cineplex ends on July 23.
Cathay Organisation sold its cinema business to MM2 Asia in 2017, but retained some assets such as The Cathay building on Handy Road and the Cathay Cineleisure Orchard mall, both located in or close to the Orchard Road shopping belt.
Cathay Organisation said: “We are excited to adaptively reuse the cineplex into an alternative space to experience film, live theatre productions, performing arts and live music, with that signature Projector stamp of diversity and inclusivity, right in the heart of the Bras Basah Bugis creative precinct.”
It added that it will also be an opportunity for collaborations with creatives here and abroad across multiple disciplines, who may “otherwise have limited access to spaces and platforms”.
Aside from curated films and live performances, patrons may also have cocktails and craft beer at a bar on the premises while waiting for their shows to start or after a performance.
Ms Karen Tan, founder of The Projector, said in the statement: “We are super stoked with this unique opportunity to explore and experiment at The Cathay, an iconic grand dame from 1939, which has a storied past and is synonymous with an illustrious chapter in local cinematic history.”
Mr Chang Long Jong, group chief executive officer for MM2 Asia, said in a post on Cathay Cineplexes’ Facebook page: "The cinema’s closure was a business decision. Over the years, retail traffic demographics have changed. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our cinema patrons, studio partners and suppliers for their continued support."