Taitung’s box office drought to end with cinema in 2013


TAIPEI–Taitung residents’ hopes of once again being able to watch a movie in a cinema will finally come true in 2013 with the opening of a new facility after a fire destroyed the only operating movie theater in the eastern Taiwan county some two years ago.

The county government announced Sunday that the Showtime Cinema, which currently operates 12 theaters around the country, won a public tender to build a four-story center that will combine a shopping mall and a theater.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012 and the much-anticipated movie theater is slated to start operating in early 2013, Taitung Magistrate Justin Huang said.

Huang said that residents of the county will be given priority for employment opportunities offered by the center.

The movie theater will be the first in Taitung after Tatung Cinema closed after a fire in August 2009.

Since the Tatung Cinema burned down in 2009, moviegoers in Taitung have only been able to quench their thirst for movies through public screenings organized by the local government, which has shown blockbusters such as “Avatar,” “Transformers,” “Cape No. 7,” and “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale.”

In response to a Facebook petition calling for a movie theater for the county that attracted thousands of supporters this year, the county government began working with the National Property Administration, and conducted open tenders on five occasions to build a six-story movie center.

However, the efforts failed to attract any bidders, forcing the county government to modify the project to a four-story building.