The Marquee cinema on West Bay Road closed its doors 28 February, confirmed Douglas Graham of Palace Amusement in Jamaica, the company who managed and licensed the Marquee cinema.
‘The audience disappeared,’ Mr. Graham said. ‘We grossed way below breakeven point, and numbers have been low since early 2008. We can only tolerate so much.’
Newspaper advertisements ran earlier this week advising the public that the cinema was closed ‘until further notice’.
Derrick Vermont, who administers the Facebook group Movie Lovers of the Cayman Islands, sent out a group message over the weekend, advising members that the closure ‘is to facilitate upcoming changes.’
The property is up for lease and Mr. Graham is unsure how the cinema will be used in the future.
‘It might re-open in some other form,’ he said. ‘The owners are toying with the idea of configuring it into something else, perhaps a kind of specialised cinema.’
Mr. Graham’s company is the sole distributor for films to the Cayman Islands, and will continue to act as film distributor to Hollywood Theatres in Camana Bay, the Marquee’s competitor and the primary reason that the Marquee went out of business, Mr. Graham said.
‘Maybe Caymanians like the new, the novelty [of another cinema],’ he said by way of explanation for the cinema’s poor performance in the past year.
‘We even reduced the price for a while and it made no difference. We thought maybe the novelty would wear off but it hasn’t worn off. It will wear off in time.’