The new Sunshine City cinema
The sunshine city of Portmore is expected to stake its claim on the entertainment scene in a few weeks when Palace Amusement opens its fourth location. Boasting four auditoriums with lounge chairs, silver screens, and the latest in digital laser technology, the state-of-the-art cinema is said to have cost hundreds of millions of dollars and will bring a different sense of class and comfort to movie goers.
Sunshine Palace will be located inside the newly built Sunshine Outlet Mall in Braeton Parkway. With the population of Portmore having grown to over a quarter million, Palace Amusements’ Melanie and Douglas Graham, told The Gleaner at a site visit on Saturday that the time had come for the city to develope its own entertainment infrastructure. “We had been getting calls from people asking why we don’t come back to Portmore because things are different now. Shawn Smith, who is our chief technical director, lives here, and he kept saying Portmore is ready for entertainment now, there needs to be a cinema. We have a lot of people here, and they have nothing to do, and they don’t necessarily want to go to Kingston all the time, so we said, let’s come out here and look at what’s available,” said Melanie.
Her husband Douglas, said now that the theater is near completion, residents are excited. “We’ve discovered that Portmore people know more about movies than Kingston people, and that’s why we were so disappointed when the first cinema didn’t work. But that’s behind us now. Portmore is a lively city, if you come out here at 11 o clock at night, its like Christmas Eve. The people are very excited, and they want to know when, not even so much as how much, but when,” he said.
While cost seems secondary to the residents of Portmore at this point, Graham said pricing was an important part of their package. He explained that while the theater will boast seats with more space than the other cinemas across the island, fees will be affordable. Regular seats will cost $1400 while the VIP lounge chairs will cost $2500. And with a new App, movie goers will be able to reserve seats on their smartphones. Showtimes are expected to be 6 and 9 p.m. from Monday to Thursdays, while Friday night movies are to also run at 11 p.m. On Saturdays, in addition to the 6, 9 and 11 p.m shows, the cinema will all have an early matinee for children at 2 p.m.
Sunshine Palace is expected to attract patrons from as far away as Bog Walk, St Catherine. The new cinema is also expected to provide over 30 jobs to the people of Portmore.