Yangon based Maze Co Ltd is planning to build 100 cinemas in less densely populated cities in Myanmar, and will invest about $20 million towards this over the next two years, a top executive with the company told this portal. The idea is to have 316 seated cinemas set up in cities that have under 150,000 residents, this executive added.
“We plan to construct cinemas in cities and townships that do not have one as yet,” said Lwin Moe, chairman of Maze Co Ltd.
The company plans to add about 20 cinemas in a region like Ayeyarwaddy Region that holds 26 townships and a strong audience for Myanmar movies. In those places, people rely on videos or DVDs and only a handful of cinemas in a couple of the biggest townships.
Sagaing Region, Mon and Shan state will be among other places where new cinemas will be built.
The company is aiming to finish construction of 10 cinemas per month.
The pilot project will start by August in Aungban in Shan State in either Taikkyi or Hmawbi township in Yangon Region.
Maze has already signed a deal to purchase cinema projectors worth about $4 million from a global tech company, Barco, Moe said and added that they are also in talks with Barco to get the tech support for the ticketing system that is to be installed.
“The ticketing system is really important. Currently there is no proper ticketing system to know exactly how many seats have been sold or have a proper linkage through online for the ticketing system,” said Moe. Maze is also looking at bringing foreign partners to help it set up these 100 cinemas.
The financing of the 100 cinemas will be given by Kanbawza bank (KBZ).
The company will be initially putting about $4 million on its own for the construction, and only after the building is partly constructed, the land and building of the cinema will be set as a collateral to get a loan from KBZ bank, said Soe Tin Maung Zaw, senior general manager of the Loans Department of KBZ bank.
An interest rate of 13 percent plus collateral is required for the loan. According to Moe, financing from foreign banks would be a time consuming process, and therefore the company opted to go with KBZ bank for this venture.