Veteran filmmaker, also the Director for Creative Arts, Programmes and Projects at the National Commission on Culture, Mr. Socrate Sarfo, has disclosed that his outfit has received 3 proposals from investors from China, Spain, and Italy, to invest in cinemas in Ghana.
“Yeah we have received 3 proposals from investors from China, Spain and Italy to revamp our dead cinemas. It’s in line with the government’s promise to the creative arts sector and my outfit is happier to have received these proposals” he told Presspeep.com.
“The National Commission on Culture has got theatres across the 10 regions of Ghana but most of them are in bad shapes – so we shall, through this private-public partnership, craft them into state of the arts conditions, so that our filmmakers can premier or screen their movies across the nation to make some good money even before they release the movies unto the market” he added.
Asked how these proposals came in, he said he discussed with some big wings and through them, they got connected to these investors. “I spoke with some big guys and through them, we got in touch with these investors and today, here we are” Socrate Sarfo disclosed.
Touching on the terms of the proposal, he intimated the Commission is yet to settle on whether a 50-50 deal or the investors will establish the cinemas, recoup their investment, and later, hand them over to government to take full charge. “We may settle on any of these terms” he said.
He added that the proposals, have since, been on the table of the sector Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Hon Catherine Ablema Afeku, for study and hopes once they are approved, work will start soon. Action-oriented man, Socrate, wrapped it up: “You know government and due processes in getting things done. It slows things – but I won’t discount its importance. I’m hoping this won’t keep long.”
Ghana, as a nation of arts, started filmmaking as far back as colonial days. The movie industry was blessed with many cinemas but lost them to churches and banks – after the cinema culture died in the late 80s to 90s as a result of curfews as well as sale of government cinemas to foreigners.
We had popular cinemas like: Rex Cinema (behind the Accra hockey pitch), Orion (Kwame Nkrumah Circle), Opera (Accra Central), Oxford (Accra New Town), Royal (Adabraka), Globe (also Adabraka), Roxy (Circle-Adabraka road), Orbit (Kaneshie), Casino (Tema), Ofel Cinema (Korle-Gonno), Vision 66, Regal (Osu-La road), Picorna, Plaza (Mamprobi), Palladium cinemas (Accra Central) and Sid Theatre (Dzorwulu). Today, 99% of them are extinct.