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After an absence of 22 years, cinemas are making a return to this city – in a big way.

The state capital will have its first ultra-modern cineplex by month’s end at the city centre’s Paya Bunga Sentral.

The return of movie theatres is part of an initiative by the Barisan Nasional (BN)-led state government, helmed by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman, in conjunction with ‘Visit Beautiful Terengganu 2017’.

The previous state government, administered by Pas, had shut down cinemas in the state following their general election victory in 1995.

This is about to change.

Opening its doors in the city is LFS Cinemas, which is equipped with Dolby Surround Sound system, and operated by Lotus Five-Star Cinemas (M) Sdn Bhd, which has over 25 outlets in the country.

It is a subsidiary of the Lotus Group, helmed by the family of prominent businessmen brothers Datuk Renah Doraisingam Pillai, Datuk Ramalingam Pillai and Nagasundram Pillai.

An official, who declined to be named, said that the LFS Cinema at the Paya Bunga Sentral, will occupy five floors – 7A, 7B, 7C, 8 and 8A – and can accommodate nearly 1,700 patrons in total.

Paya Bunga Sentral is adjacent to the year-old iconic Paya Bunga Square.

“We expect overwhelming response from the public who have been eagerly awaiting a cinema in town

“The cinema is planning to screen the latest blockbusters and famous movies in English, Bahasa Malaysia, as well as Chinese and Indian languages.

“It will also be equipped with suraus to cater for Muslims who wish to observe prayer times,” said the official, adding the cinema would provide job opportunities for locals.

The official added that LFS had engaged a local manager to recruit about 50 staff to handle various operations, like ticketing, ushering, janitorial duties, motion-picture technical duties and general work.

“More staff are expected to be recruited once operations expand,” the official said.

It is learnt that hordes of locals, between the ages of 20 and 40, have applied for the jobs within a few days of being advertised.

“Those recruited will be offered in-house training and engaged as temporary employees initially.

“Reliable staff will be absorbed once they prove themselves. Among the employment criteria are for workers to be conversant in Bahasa Malaysia and English, to cater for foreign visitors,” said the official.

The LFS Group has cinemas in the Klang Valley, Sitiawan, Ipoh and Butterworth, through a joint-venture with BIG Cinemas, a member of India’s Reliance Group, owned by billionaire Anil Dhirubhai Ambani.

LFT Cinemas has been the main distributor of Tamil and Hindi films in the country for almost two decades.

The LFS Group of companies owns the famed chain of Lotus Restaurants in the country, and are also involved in manpower sourcing, immigration services, property development, hotels and resorts, plantations, financing and entertainment.

Source : NST