Eng Wah Clementi cineplex opens, marks operator WE Cinemas' return after two years

Operator WE Cinemas returns to the cinema exhibition business after two years

A 10-hall cineplex in Clementi opens today, marking the return of operator WE Cinemas after a two-year hiatus.

The cineplex is located at the 321 Clementi mall, which also officially opens today. The mall, like the cineplex, is owned and managed by Eng Wah Global.

WE Cinemas moved out of its last two locations in West Mall and Suntec City Mall in 2013, giving them up to rival operators Cathay and Golden Village respectively.

While its seating capacity of 746 makes it the smallest of the five commercial operators, WE Cinemas has the advantage of being the only source of movie entertainment in the Clementi housing estate.

Its closest rivals are one MRT stop away, at Jurong East, where Cathay Cineplex Jem and Shaw Theatres JCube are located. Further west, at Boon Lay station, there is GV Jurong Point.

Ms Vivien Ong, sales and marketing director with parent company Eng Wah Global, says her organisation went "on vacation" from the exhibition business after it closed its last two outlets in 2013.

The parent company had a "strategic plan to consolidate its resources", she says, explaining its exit from the exhibition business that year.

The group operates other lifestyle and leisure outlets such as Hotel Fort Canning, the mall Jubilee Square and the club The Legends Fort Canning.

As Clementi is a hub for schools, such as the Singapore Polytechnic and the National University of Singapore, Ms Ong expects the 1,858 sq m cinema to be a hit with students.

The new cineplex will feature ticketless admission and Dolby Atmos surround sound. Its premium class hall, dubbed First Class, will have plusher seats, personal tables for clients and food service.

Other tenants in the mall are expected to take up residence in the coming weeks, says Ms Ong. These include the Fitness First gym and restaurants such as Vons Chicken, Mei Heong Yuen Dessert, Kowloon Express and Charcoal Thai.

As for opening more cinemas, Eng Wah Global is "in dialogue with potential landlords", she says.

johnlui@sph.com.sg