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Haiti capital gets first movie theatre in years

Published:Wednesday | June 24, 2015 | 6:00 AM

The first movie theatre to operate in the Haitian capital in years has opened its doors off a renovated downtown square, a welcome sign of revival in a city shattered by an earthquake more than five years ago.

The Triomphe theatre had been closed since 1988, but was rehabilitated with more than 700 plush seats, a digital sound system and two screens. The Port-au-Prince cinema with a glass facade also boasts conference rooms and a hall for concerts, plays and other cultural performances.

President Michel Martelly inaugurated the revamped theatre Friday along with dignitaries and dozens of local artists. Authorities say it won't actually start showing films to the general public for about another month, once arrangements for a parking garage are completed.

Port-au-Prince had roughly 30 cinemas in the 1970s. But over the years they all closed amid political turmoil and rampant bootlegging of movies with pirated DVDs and videotapes.

The last movie theatre to operate in Port-au-Prince was the Imperial Cinema, which closed shortly before the January 2010 quake that devastated much of the capital and surrounding areas.

- AP